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Bad Dog! Ohio No. 3 in dogs attacking postal workers

Jamesa Euler
David Goldman
U.S. Postal Service letter carrier of 12 years, Jamesa Euler, encounters a barking a dog while delivering mail in the Cabbagetown neighborhood, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Atlanta. The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service wants to stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion a year.

The U.S. Postal Service says more than 5,400 workers were attacked by dogs in 2021. Ohio came in at No. 3 with 359 workers attacked or bitten. Cleveland tops the nationwide list with the most incidents but Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, Akron and Youngstown all place in the top 25.

The statistics come as the post office is recognizing National Dog Bite Awareness week June 5-11.

"We do have some aggressive dogs in Ohio and some of our cities in Ohio made it to the list in the top 25," says Naddia Dhalai, USPS strategic communication specialist.

She says the agency releases the numbers annually as a reminder to customers to keep dogs restrained, making it safer for letter carriers to do their jobs.

"Some dogs are very friendly, and we love dogs, but some of them are not as friendly. (We tell carriers) just to be aware of that and be cautious and not to pet a dog."

Letter carriers are trained to:

  • Not startle a dog.
  • Keep their eyes on the dog.
  • Never assume a dog won’t bite.
  • Make some noise or rattle a fence to alert the dog if entering a yard.
  • Never attempt to pet or feed a dog.
  • Place their foot against an outward swinging door.

When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep dogs:

  • Inside the house or behind a fence;
  • Away from the door or in another room; or
  • On a leash.

"We ask customers to make sure to keep their doors closed during delivery hours, keep their dogs inside a room maybe and also never let their children accept mail. I know kids love to run to the mail person and grab the mail, but sometimes that dog sees it as a threat and they'll jump through the door and attack the carrier," Dhalai adds.

By the numbers

The top 25 (okay 32, there were some ties) cities reporting dog attacks/bites in 2021 are:

bites 1.JPG

The Top 10 dog bite states are:

bites 2.JPG

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.