Mail carriers beware of dog bites in California but enjoy New York which has the least number of dog bites.

California leads the country in number of dog bites to mail carriers

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

California seems to be the worst state to be if you're a mail carrier and want to avoid being bitten by a dog.  Santa Ana, California led the nation with 96 bitten carriers.  The Golden State also had three of the top five spots for carriers to get bitten.  Compare this to the New York metropolitan area which recorded no dog bites of letter carriers last year.

After the New York metro area, the next safest place was Alaska with 2 bites, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii 3 and Maine and Montana with 9 each.  Following Santa Ana's 96 bites were Houston, 94; Sacramento, 82; Los Angeles, 77 and South Florida, 71.

Dog bite advice:

  • Don't run past a dog. The dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.
  • If a dog threatens you, don't scream.  Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
  • Don't approach a strange dog, especially one that's tethered or confined.
  • While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet dogs should always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
  • If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
  • Owners should get their dogs obedience training.
  • When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door.
  • Don't let your child take mail from the letter carrier in the presence of your dog. Your dog's instinct is to protect the family.

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