The mail carrier: A dog's best friend? Or a favorite chew toy?
It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week and Miami hasn't necessary been good.
Though the number of postal employees attacked by dogs nationwide decreased by 500 in 2017, Miami saw an increase in dog attacks on mail carriers. That earned Miami a spot in the top 30 cities, according to the Postal Service.
In 2016, the Magic City saw 10 dog attacks. In 2017 it had 25, ranking it at No. 23, the Post Office said.
Houston came in at No. 1 with 71 dog bites in 2017. Los Angeles was next at 67.
Insurance company State Farm reported that in 2017, it paid more than $132 million as a result of 3,618 dog-related injury claims.
The average cost for each? $36,573.
In hopes of reducing dog attacks, the USPS is now using technology that alerts mail carriers of potential attacks.
The Package Pickup tool on USPS's website asks customers to indicate if there are dogs at their addresses when they schedule package pickups. The information is then provided to carriers on their delivery scanners that send alerts if an unleashed dog is reported in a delivery area.
“The scanners that our carriers use to confirm a customer’s delivery include a feature for them to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address,” said U.S. Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo in San Diego, where postal employees suffered 46 attacks — the fifth-ranked city in 2017. “This information particularly is helpful for substitute carriers who fill in for regular carriers on their days off.”
National Dog Bite Prevention week runs through Saturday, April 14.