Mail carriers beware! Virginia among top 10 states with most postal workers attacked by dogs

Virginia News

United States Postal Service mail carrier Frank Colon, 59, delivers a package amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 30, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. – Everyday the United States Postal Service (USPS) employees work and deliver essential mail to customers. (Photo by Paul Ratje / AFP) (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While many people remained home through most of 2020, postal service workers were working hard to get packages, bills, ballots and letters to where they needed to be. During that time, the United States Postal Service says over 5,800 employees were attacked by dogs.

Of all the 50 states, Virginia had the 10th most postal workers bitten by dogs. Virginia postal workers reported 169 dog bites in 2020 and 162 in 2019.

Of the 169 attacks in Virginia, almost 10% were in the City of Richmond. Richmond’s 16 dog bites last year ranks it 22nd among all U.S. cities. Richmond shares that ranking with Memphis, Tennessee, and Flint, Michigan.

Virginia’s ranking of 10th is not surprising considering it is the 12th most populated state. Richmond, however, is punching well above its weight – Virginia’s capital city is the 96th most populated in the nation.

According to a release from the U.S. Postal Service, recorded dog bites includes everything from minor incidents like nips to vicious attacks.

USPS is reminding people as part of National Dog Bite Awareness Week to keep control of their dog and practice responsible pet ownership. The release states it is best to have dogs secured when mail carriers come to the home.

Mail carriers are trained on dog attacks and take precautions when delivering mail. There are also tools in place to track which areas have possible dog hazards.

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