CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The number of postal employees attacked by dogs annually has increased since last year, and Cleveland is ranked as a city with one of the highest amount of dog attacks.
According to the United States Postal Service, there were 6,755 dog attacks nationwide in 2016, which is 200 more than in 2015. Cleveland came in at No. 3 on the list of dog attacks ranked by city. In 2016, there were 60 reports of postal carriers attacked by dogs. Los Angeles ranked No. 1 overall with 80 dog attacks in 2016. Elsewhere in Ohio, Columbus ranked No. 15 with 39 attacks, Cincinnati was No. 25 with 24 attacks, and Akron was towards the bottom of the list at No. 28 with 21 attacks last year.
The USPS is enacting several measures to increase the mail carrier's safety. Some customers are now being asked ahead of time of the mail recipient has a dog at the address.
U.S. Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo said, "The scanners that Postal Service letter carriers use to confirm a customer's delivery include a feature for carriers to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address."
Employees with the USPS are also now being given dog bite prevention training and education. If a Postal Service employee feels unsafe or threatened by a leashed of unleashed dog, the mail carrier could skip the house and come back at a later time.