Houston leads nation in dog attacks on mail carriers, new USPS report shows

FILE - Aug. 18, 2020, file photo (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
FILE - Aug. 18, 2020, file photo (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Houston earned the dubious distinction of being the city where the most USPS mail carriers were attacked by dogs in 2020.

“From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the general public,” a release from the U.S. Postal Service reads.

Last year, 73 USPS mail carriers were attacked by dogs in Houston, according to the U.S. Post Office annual dog attack ranking.

Not to take any heat off Houston, but Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth also make an appearance on the U.S. Postal Service’s list of the top 25 worst cities when it comes to canines. Dallas placed No.7 on the list with 38 attacks, San Antonio placed No. 9 on the list with 36 attacks and Fort Worth tied with Omaha and New Orleans for No. 21 on the list with 17 attacks. All in all, 402 USPS employees were attacked by dogs in Texas last year. Nationwide, more than 5,800 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2020.

The annual list was released in honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs Saturday, June 12 through Friday, June 18.

“Raising awareness about dog bite prevention and how to protect our letter carriers as we deliver the mail is paramount,” said USPS Acting Employee Safety and Health Awareness Manager Jamie Seavello in a statement. “Dogs are instinctive animals that may act to protect their turf and that why’s it’s important to inform the public about this campaign.”

USPS suggested dog owners do these things to keep mail carriers safe:

Remind their children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat.

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

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

View the U.S. Postal Service’s 2020 Dog Attack Rankings here.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.