USPS Reports Rise in Dog Bites


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I’ve been sounding the alarm that it appears dog bite numbers are on the rise. There’s now mounting evidence, and adding to that from the United States Postal Service (USPS) which notes dog bite numbers have gone up in nearly all states in 2023, from 2022..

Here’s dog bite states from the top-10 states (comparing 2023 with 2022):

                         2023  2022

California        727   675

Texas              411    404

Ohio                359    311

Pennsylvania 334    313

Illinois              316   245

New York         296   321

Florida              193   220

North Carolina 185  146

Mississippi        183  206

Missouri           180  166

The USPS advice includes not to leave dogs outdoors without adult supervision, and/or keep dogs on a leash. Pet owners also should remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child.

An option may be to utilize a free USPS service called Informed Delivery. Customers can digitally preview incoming mail and packages from a computer, tablet or mobile device. More than 52 million customers have enrolled since the service was launched in 2017. Sign up is at informeddelivery.usps.com. This service can help dog owners anticipate when their carrier will arrive.

According to the USPS, if your letter carrier feels unsafe delivering, the mail delivery service may be stopped and you’ll have to pick up your bills and junk mail at the nearest post office.

According to the CDC, Humane Society of the United States and American Veterinary Medical Associations, serious dog attacks occur because (in no special order). Note breed or mix of breeds is not mentioned:

  • Dogs are not socialized (or socialized appropriately).
  • Aversive/aggressive dog training methods.
  • Dogs previously ‘guilty’ of a bite (or bites) but nothing was done to help the dog.
  • Intact males (not because they are inherently aggressive. But they do sniff a dog in heat and jump fencing and run off, without adult supervision).
  • No adult supervision /children most often victims.
  • Not understanding (or ignoring) what dogs are trying to tell us.