USPS-canine relations still troubled


Yep, dogs do occasionally bite, and there are plenty of mail carriers who can attest to it, according to new U.S. Postal Service rankings that put Houston at the head of the pack (lame wordplay totally intended).

For at least the fourth straight year, the Texas city led the country in hostile dog-carrier encounters with 62 in 2010. Runners-up were San Diego and Columbus, Ohio, with 45 each, followed by Los Angeles with 44 and Louisville, Ky., with 40.

In all, 5,669 postal workers were attacked last year, and the medical expenses cost the Postal Service almost $1.2 million. If you’re looking for any trends, warmer areas typically have more attacks because “dogs are out for longer periods over the year,” USPS spokesman Mark Saunders said in an email. For anyone who’s been on the receiving end of a canine’s canines, though, this won’t come as a surprise: The majority of attacks result from humans’ failure “to practice responsible pet ownership,” Saunders added.

The Postal Service issued the rankings in connection with Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs through Saturday. There’s apparently plenty to prevent: More than 4.7 million Americans are bitten each year, the bulk of them children, the agency said.


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