USPS reports spike in dog attacks on carriers
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The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) reported Thursday that 6,755 mail carriers were attacked by dogs in 2016, an increase of more than 200 incidents from the previous year. 

“Even good dogs have bad days,” said Linda DeCarlo, a USPS safety director in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles tops U.S. cities, with more than 80 dog attacks in 2016.

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Houston (62), Cleveland (60), San Diego (57), Louisville (51), Detroit (48), Denver (47), Chicago (46), Indianapolis (44), and Minneapolis (43) round out the top 10 cities in the report.

Washington, D.C., saw a comparatively low 19 dog attacks last year.

The USPS is taking steps to address what it calls a workplace safety risk by encouraging customers to notify mail carriers if they have dogs at home and move them into a separate room when they open the front door to get the mail.

The USPS also allows mail carriers to report dogs, which can be tracked for future deliveries.

“Dogs may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture,” the USPS said.

“If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained,” the agency said.

“If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office,” it added.