Local

Wichita ranks 27th in dog bites to mail carriers

A dog barks at letter carrier in Fort Worth. At this house the dog is contained by a front yard fence and the mailbox is outside of the fence.
A dog barks at letter carrier in Fort Worth. At this house the dog is contained by a front yard fence and the mailbox is outside of the fence. Tribune

Some Wichita dogs really don’t like mail carriers.

Wichita ranked 27th for most dog bites to mail carriers in the country in 2015, according to data released by the U.S. Postal Service on Thursday.

Wichita dogs bit mail carriers 18 times last year – a tie with Flushing, N.Y., and Baton Rogue, La.

In 2014, Wichita tied with much larger cities – Miami, Fort Worth and Oklahoma City — for 15th most dog bites. Each city recorded 25 instances of dog attacks.

Wichita tied for 27th most dog bites to mail carriers last year. It tied for 15th the year before.

The data lists dog bites as straightforward occurrences, not per capita of mail carriers, so Wichita’s rate was high given its smaller population.

Ryon Knopik, Wichita postmaster, said in a news release that with summer approaching, it’s important for pet owners to keep dogs restrained.

“We still had 18 carriers attacked by dogs last year, and that’s 18 too many, and doesn’t include the many close calls with dogs our carriers face on a daily basis,” Knopik said.

The U.S. Postal Service ranked the top 30 dog attack cities, which were made up of 51 locations because several cities had the same number of attacks.

Dogs in Houston bit the most mail carriers last year, followed by those in San Diego and Cleveland.

In a news release, Linda DeCarlo, manager of safety for the Postal Service, said: “There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”

There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite.

Linda DeCarlo, manager of safety for the Postal Service

Nationwide, 6,549 postal employees were attacked last year. Next week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Gabriella Dunn: 316-268-6400, @gabriella_dunn

Advice from the Postal Service

Here are some tips and information from the U.S. Postal Service:

▪ Place your dog in a closed, separate room before opening the front door to a mail carrier. (Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.)

▪ Remind children to keep the dog, or dogs, away when opening the door.

▪ If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious or loose dog, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the post office.

▪ Neighbors may sometimes be asked to pick up mail at the post office if the carrier feels threatened by roaming dogs in the area.

▪ The city of Wichita has a leash law that prohibits pet owners from letting their dogs run loose.

▪ If your dog attacks a letter carrier, you could be held liable for all medical expenses and other costs.

Source: U.S. Postal Service

  Comments