WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 5,600 mail carriers were victims last year of dog attacks, a widespread problem that cost the U.S. Postal Service nearly $1.2 million in medical expenses, the government said Thursday.

Houston, Los Angeles and other warmer cities were most often the site of dog attacks, although letter carriers were bitten in more than 1,400 cities around the country.

The Postal Service released the numbers in advance of annual dog bite prevention week, which begins next week. Its goal is to try and reduce the number of dog attacks, both on mail carriers and in the general population. Last year more than 4.7 million Americans were bitten, most of them children.

“Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem,” said Matthew Lopez, Houston postmaster. “Working with animal behavior experts, we’ve developed tips to avoid dog attacks and, for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.”

According to the Postal Service, the top cities for dog attacks after Houston are Columbus, Ohio; San Diego, Calif.; Los Angeles; Louisville, Ky.; San Antonio, Texas; St. Louis, Mo.; Cleveland; Phoenix; Minneapolis; Portland, Ore.; Denver; Philadelphia; Sacramento, Calif.; and Seattle.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. Lou says:

    how many were pit bulls?

  2. steve pitt says:

    dog racists!!! pit bulls arnt the problem or the leading cause of attacks. for shame, i ve rasied pits for years, best dogs ever, never had one even look twice at anyone or anything. you should post pics of those nasty smaller dogs that are responsible. just cuz pits can be abused and are tough dogs, doesnt make them a problem. for shame

  3. Luis says:

    In line with other idiotic posts: It must be those damn ILLEGAL dogs from south of the border! Close the borders now!!!

  4. BOB says:



  5. Ellen Hinchliff says:

    I can tell the journalist that chose the posted article picture knows nothing about dog breeds. I worked as a Home Health RN for 15 years. Yes, was bitten. I was bitten by chihuahuas! My point is putting pit bulls as a focus picture is irresponsible. I am very disappointed that pit bulls were used to symbolize the only dog breed that does the attacking. The single act of placing that picture reinforces the banning and killing many wonderful dogs that happened to be pit bulls. Tragic. Irresponsible. Stupid!

  6. jane says:

    Seriously, why a picture of a pit? There are many pits that are loving and caring dogs. Any dog can bite, any breed of dog. Don’t blame a specific breed of dog for an irresponsible owner that has not properly trained their animal. Get real.

  7. Pit bull says:

    Seeing as many of these cities have breed specific ban legislation on pit bulls, it is probable that NONE were pit bulls. Now what is this saying about how well this ban is working out in, say, Denver?

  8. Des says:

    Love that Denver has a Pit Bull ban and is still one of the highest on bite rates. How’s that ban working out, Denver?

  9. sickofbarkingdogs says:

    what we need is a muzzle on the damn dogs.

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