Charlotte ranks high in dog attacks on mail carriers

Mail carriers in Charlotte seem to have it rough -- they’ve been robbed, they’ve been shot at, and now the United States Postal Service says many of them have been attacked by dogs.

The USPS put out its national rankings of cities with the most dog attacks ahead of National Dog Bite Awareness Week, and Charlotte landed at number 15 on the list.

According to data from the USPS, there were 21 dog attacks on mail carriers across Charlotte last year. It’s tied with Miami and Indianapolis.

Houston, Texas, landed at the top of the list, with 57 dog attacks last year. Another Texas city, Dallas, was at number 3 with 44 attacks.

The USPS didn’t provide specific details about each attack.

According to the postal service, letter carriers are trained to look out for dogs and to “respect a dog’s territory.” The carriers train to not startle dogs, not attempt to feed or pet them, and to place their foot against an outward door to prevent a dog from escaping. The letter carriers also have a feature on their handheld scanners that let them know about dog hazards.

So what happens if a dog attacks a letter carrier?

First, they are trained to stand their ground and protect their bodies. That means they could use their own mail satchels or dog repellents to stave off an attack.

But if your dog does attack a mail carrier or make them feel unsafe, the postal service could stop mail service to your home. In some cases, mail service could be stopped for the entire neighborhood. The service won’t be restored until the aggressive dog is properly restrained, according to the USPS.

Charlotte was the only city in the Carolinas on the top-20 list, but the USPS added that North Carolina as a whole was the 10th worst state for dog attacks, with 146 in 2022. California had the most, with 675.

You can see the full rankings at this link.

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