To kick-off next week as National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the U.S. Postal Service released its top 30 dog attack city rankings and offered tips to reduce dog attacks to letter carriers.
Nationwide, 5,767 postal employees were attacked last year.
The event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, featured letter carriers who were attacked by dogs recounted their experiences. The event also featured pit bull therapy dog Elle, the American Humane Association’s 2013 Hero Dog of the Year. Veterinarians and representatives of the medical community provided tips on dog attack prevention and responsible pet ownership. Representatives from the insurance industry discussed dog bite claims and homeowner liability. Internationally renowned dog trainer, author, and television personality Victoria Stilwell and Kelly Voigt, a dog attack victim, joined Elle and her handler Leah Brewer in a dog safety demonstration.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite,” said Postal Service Manager of Safety Linda DeCarlo. “Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
Of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually, half of all victims are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by providing prevention tips during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.