Jun 14, 2021 - Economy

Package delivery boom boosts incidents of mail carrier dog bites

Top cities for USPS dog attacks, 2020
Data: USPS; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 5,800 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year, and the pandemic was partly to blame, says the U.S. Postal Service.

  • E-commerce surged when shoppers were stuck at home, meaning more packages being delivered to residences.
  • And more people, including children, were at home to open the door for deliveries, giving pets more opportunity to escape.
  • Plus, there were simply more dogs, as "pandemic puppy" adoptions soared last year.

Why it matters: It's National Dog Bite Awareness week and the postal service wants to remind dog owners to secure their pets. This year’s theme is “Be Aware: Any Dog Can Bite.”

  • Houston ranked first in dog bites, with 73 carriers attacked. Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Denver rounded out the top 5 for most aggressive dogs, according to USPS.

What to watch: In the era of Big Delivery, reports of dog attacks could be expected to rise among Amazon, UPS and FedEx delivery personnel, too, though a UPS spokesperson says the company hasn't seen an increase yet.

The bottom line: Both UPS and the Postal Service say if a driver encounters an aggressive animal, they will not deliver the package, and you'll have to pick it up from their facility.

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