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Detroit is 6th worst city for dog bites, postal service says

Earlier this week we discussed the dog bite concerns of Consumers Energy. The utility is worried about its employees becoming victims of dog attacks while out in the field reading meters. The U.S. Postal Service also has an interest in preventing dog bites, and it issued a report Wednesday regarding its letter carriers suffering dog bite injuries. The post office's report actually comes just before National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which is May 19-25.

According to USPS, about 5,900 letter carriers were attacked by dogs in 2012. Thirty-three dog attacks took place in Detroit, making it the sixth most dangerous city for letter carriers last year.

The most dangerous city in 2012 was Los Angeles, where 69 postal employees sustained dog bites on the job.

As we frequently note in this personal injury law blog, it is the legal responsibility of Michigan dog owners to ensure that anyone who encounters their animal will be safe. When it comes to USPS, if a letter carrier believes that your dog is threatening, you can be required to pick up your mail at the post office instead of having it delivered to your home. This can affect you as well as your neighbors--if letter carriers notice a threatening dog that often gets out of its yard or roams the neighborhood free, the post office can discontinue mail service to other homes as well.

The main message of the 2013 National Dog Bite Prevention Week is that dog bites are preventable. When it comes to keeping letter carriers safe, the USPS suggests the following tips:

  1. Enroll your dog in obedience training to ensure he or she is properly trained.
  2. If a letter carrier comes to your door, keep any dogs inside and in another room or leashed, because dogs can be territorial and may view the letter carrier as a threat.
  3. Make sure your dog receives enough attention and socialization. Dogs that are left alone a lot can become aggressive.

Source: United States Postal Service, "Postal Service Releases Top Dog Attack City Rankings," May 15, 2013

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