Here are the US cities, states where mail carriers are bit by dogs the most

FILE - Gaithersburg, MD, letter carrier Hugues Pointe Jour takes a protective stance against an approaching dog. (Credit: Provided/USPS)

More than 3,500 Postal Service workers were attacked by dogs while delivering the mail last year, according to the U.S. Postal Service – which released rankings of the top U.S. cities and states with the most reported dog attacks. 

Meanwhile, the USPS said it’s also working to keep its employees safe as part of "National Dog Bite Awareness Week," which runs between June 4 and June 10. 

In 2022, the most reported dog attacks involving postal workers happened in Houston, Texas (57), followed by Los Angeles, California (48), Dallas, Texas (44), Cleveland, Ohio (43), and San Diego, California (39), according to the USPS.

By state, California ranked highest in 2022 with 675 dog attacks, followed by Texas at 404, New York at 421, Pennsylvania with 313, and Ohio at 311, the USPS said.

As part of an effort to drive awareness about dog safety among pet owners, USPS encouraged residents to always keep dogs inside their homes or behind a fence when a carrier comes to the door. 

"Pet owners also should remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child," the USPS said. 

This year’s National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaign has a slogan: "Even good dogs have bad days."

"When our mail carriers are bitten, it is usually a ‘good dog’ that had not previously behaved in a menacing way," USPS Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director Linda DeCarlo, said in a statement.

"In 2022, too many aggressive dogs impacted the lives of our employees while delivering the mail," DeCarlo added. "Please help us reduce that number by being a responsible pet owner who secures their dog as we deliver the mail."

USPS carriers are also trained to be attentive while delivering the mail. They’re taught to observe an area where they know dogs are present, and be alert for "potentially dangerous conditions and to respect a dog’s territory," the USPS said. 

If a dog attacks, the USPS said carriers are also trained to stand their ground and protect their body by placing something between them and the dog — such as a mail satchel — and to use dog repellent, if necessary.

"Recently, I was delivering to a customer’s mailbox and was nearly bitten by their large aggressive dog," Swain Lowe, a letter carrier in Manassas, Virginia, said in a statement. "Despite the dog being behind a fence, it still managed to jump over and charge me. Thankfully, I was aware of it and remembered not to run but to turn and use my satchel as a shield to prevent what could have been a terrible bite."

USPS workers have a dog alert feature on handheld scanners that can remind them of a possible dog hazard along the route. Dog warning cards may also be used during mail sorting to alert carriers to routes where a dog has been known to interfere with delivery.


FILE - United States Postal Service (USPS) mailman Mike Micali displays a hand held scanning device that shows the "Trip Hazards" feature, which alerts to nearby dogs, during deliveries in Flemington, New Jersey, U.S., on Aug. 4, 2016. Photographer:

The agency warned how mail service can potentially be halted if a carrier feels unsafe. When this occurs, mail must be picked up at the local post office and may not be restored until the "aggressive dog is properly restrained."

Most reported USPS dog attacks by city, state

Dog attacks by city in 2022 - The USPS shared the top 20 ranking of most dog attacks, which are actually comprised of 36 cities as some cities reported the same number of attacks. 

  1. HOUSTON, TX: 57
  2. LOS ANGELES, CA: 48
  3. DALLAS, TX: 44
  4. CLEVELAND, OH: 43
  5. SAN DIEGO, CA: 39
  6. CHICAGO, IL: 36
  7. ST. LOUIS, MO: 34
  8. KANSAS CITY, MO: 33
  9. PHOENIX, AZ: 32
  10. SAN ANTONIO, TX: 32
  11. DETROIT, MI: 30
  13. LOUISVILLE, KY: 26
  14. COLUMBUS, OH: 23
  16. MILWAUKEE, WI: 22
  17. CINCINNATI, OH: 22
  18. CHARLOTTE, NC: 21
  19. MIAMI, FL: 21
  21. TOLEDO, OH: 20
  22. BATON ROUGE, LA: 20
  23. MEMPHIS, TN: 19
  25. PITTSBURGH, PA: 19
  26. DENVER, CO: 19
  27. AKRON, OH: 19
  28. BUFFALO, NY: 18
  29. DAYTON, OH: 18
  30. FORT WORTH, TX: 17
  31. LONG BEACH, CA: 16
  32. STOCKTON, CA: 16
  35. EL PASO, TX: 16
  36. BALTIMORE, MD: 16

Dog attacks by state in 2022 -

  1. CA: 675
  2. TX: 404
  3. NY: 321
  4. PA: 313
  5. OH: 311
  6. IL: 245
  7. FL: 220
  8. MI: 206
  9. MO: 166
  10. NC: 146

This story was reported from Cincinnati.