DENVER (CBS4)– It’s no secret that Denver is a dog city but what you may not know is that the Mile High City ranks among the worst for dog attacks on letter carriers.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, Denver had 47 dog attacks on letter carriers in 2016.
That marks a 24 percent increase over the year before and is double that of five years ago.
The report ranks the cities in the U.S. and Denver falls at number seven, between Chicago and Detroit.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite,” said Denver Postmaster Mark Talbott. “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.”
Letter carrier Joe Pastore says he has been bitten before and has advice for homeowners.
“I’m a dog owner myself. I keep my dog inside or in the back yard. That’s the best thing they can do to help us,” he said. “We don’t mind if they bark. We know they’re at the window barking. But if they could just restrain the dog and let us do our job safely — the post office wants us to get home safely.
“We don’t want to go to the doctor because we got bit by a dog pretty severely, and it has happened to a lot of people.”
Pastore said if he can’t safely get to a mail slot because of a dog, he won’t deliver it. He also added that anytime a dog is loose on the street it keeps an entire neighborhood from getting their mail.
Postal officials shared these tips to prevent dog attacks:
- If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
2016 Dog Attack Rankings by City