A new report by the USPS shows that dog attacks on postal workers are rising, including in Connecticut.
While the image of a postal worker getting bitten by a dog is so old that it has become a bit of a cliché, for actual postal workers dog bites are a very real threat to their safety. As the Washington Post recently reported, a series of statistics released by the United States Postal Service (USPS) shows that dog attacks on postal delivery workers are rising rapidly, including in Connecticut. While much of that rise has been attributed to the growth in online shopping, it should serve as a reminder to pet owners to ensure visitors to their property, including delivery persons, are safe from harm.
Rise in dog attacks
Dog attacks on postal workers rose by a dramatic 14 percent last year according to the USPS report. In 2015 there were 6,549 dog attacks on postal workers across the country, which is close to 800 more than occurred during 2014. Houston turned out to have the most dog attacks on postal workers in the country, with 77 such attacks. San Diego and Cleveland were tied for second with 58 attacks each.
While no city in Connecticut ranked in the top ten for dog attacks on postal workers, the state as a whole did see a steep rise in such attacks. According to the Milford Patch, dog attacks on postal workers in Connecticut rose from 73 in 2014 to 90 last year. Bridgeport had the highest number of attacks in the state, with six, while Hartford, Norwalk, and New Britain were all tied for second with five attacks each.
Preventing dog bites
Ultimately, the responsibility for preventing dog attacks is on owners themselves. The postal service, in releasing its report, also reminded pet owners that when they are answering the door they should ensure their dog is kept in another room with the door shut. Furthermore, family dogs tend to be especially protective of children, which is why children should not be allowed to answer the door if a dog is nearby and not restrained. The dog might think the postal worker at the door is a threat to the child.
While dog bites to postal workers are a serious problem, it is important to keep in mind that postal workers are not actually at the highest risk of being hurt by dogs. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that there are a total of 4.5 million dog bites across the country each year and the group most at risk of getting bitten is young children.
Connecticut has strong liability laws that help protect those who have been bitten by dogs. The fact is that almost every dog attack is entirely preventable if the dog's owner had taken simple steps to ensure the safety and security of the victim. For those who have been hurt by a dog attack, help is available by contacting a personal injury attorney today. An experienced attorney can help dog attack victims understand their legal options, including whether they may be able to file claims for financial compensation.