“Through rain, through sleet, through DOG BITES?!”
If you’re a mail delivery person in Houston, Texas, congratulations, your city has just won the dubious distinction of being the nation’s leader in dog bites on Postal Service letter carriers.
Statistics released this week by the U.S. Postal Service showed that 62 mail delivery people were attacked by dogs in Houston, Texas last year — making the city a runaway winner over runners-up Columbus, Ohio, and San Diego, Calif., with 45 attacks each.
“We often hear two comments relating to the Postal Service, ‘the check’s in the mail,’ and ‘don’t worry, my dog won’t bite’. Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite,” said Matthew Lopez, Houston’s Postmaster.
One other Texas city — San Antonio — made this ignominious top ten list. The Alamo City tied for sixth with 39 attacks.
Nationally, 5,669 postal employees were attacked in 2010 in more than 1,400 cities. That’s just a small fraction of the 4.7 million dog attacks reported annually — the majority targeting children.
The Postal Service says its medical costs from dog attacks amounted to nearly $1.2 million last year. More than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims paid last year — some $413 million — involved dog bites, according to the Insurance Information Institute.