You’ve been warned, Seattle letter carriers

dog mailmenWASHINGTON – The United States Postal Service recently released a list identifying the cities with the most dog attacks on letter carriers.

And according to the list, Seattle bites tough.

This release comes ahead of the ‘National Dog Bite Prevention Week,’ recognized May 19-25.

Los Angeles topped the list with out of the nearly 6,000 postal workers attacked last year, 69 of them happened in L.A.

Seattle and San Antonio tied for second with the number of dog attacks, with 42 attacks each. Chicago (41), San Francisco (38) and Philadelphia (34) rounded out the top five. Tacoma tied with Dallas for 13th place, with 21 reported attacks each.

Letter carriers do have some recourse against pesky pups.

“If our letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the Post Office until it’s safe to deliver,” Ken Snavely, acting postmaster of Los Angeles, said.

The Postal Service is urging people to practice responsible dog ownership. Officials said the issue can impact everyone.

Included below are ways to be a responsible dog owner, as well as how to avoid attacks.

How to be a Responsible Dog Owner

  • Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs in any situation.
  • Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of a letter carrier as a threat. Please take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.
  • When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room or on a leash.
  • Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time frequently turn into biters.

Avoiding Attacks

  • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
  • 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.
  • Never approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
  • Anyone wanting to pet a dog should first obtain permission from the owner.
  • Always let a dog see and sniff you 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.
  • If you are knocked down by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands.

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