Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D. CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

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Dog Bite Statistics for Letter Carriers

In a widely distributed press release, the United States Postal Service made available statistics relating to dog bites sustained by their letter carriers for the years 1995 to 2005. Annually, dog bite risk to letter carriers is well recognized by the post office, as well as attorneys, and recently efforts to control the problem have been through education and information dissemination, particularly in conjunction with the American Veterinary Medical Association. These educational efforts stress that property owners must control and secure their dogs properly, particularly having doors and fence gates that close properly. Postal carrier may be perceived by the dog as a territorial threat, and therefore are at risk for  dog bite injury. Note, that in addition to bites inflicted to letter carriers, knock down injuries also occur.  Postal carriers are taught to use their mailbag as protection, but this does not prevent being knocked down or falling as a result of an attempted bite by a dog.

Post office statistics show that the city in the United States with the most dog bite inflicted injuries to postal carriers was Houston with a total of 108 incidences in 2005, followed by Santa Ana, California with 94, followed by Indianapolis with 83, and other   large United States metropolitan areas had similar frequencies. Total frequency for all cities combined throughout the United States appears to have increased over time, with the greatest number occurring in 2003.   Dog Bite Statistics Letter Carriers

Dog bite statistics for postal workers in American cities, 2012

Total frequency of dog bite incidences to postal carriers throughout the United States per year were as follows:

  • 1995  = 2,851
  • 1996 =  2,795
  • 1997 =  2,798
  • 1998  = 2,541
  • 1999 =  2,729
  • 2000 =  2,721
  • 2001 =  3,158
  • 2002 =  3,070
  • 2003 =  3,743
  • 2004 =  3,429
  • 2005  = 3,249
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