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They're *mostly* good dogs: Dog attacks on mail carriers down in Ohio, but still an issue

 a black pug in a black and white sweater against a yellow background
Charles Deluvio

Fewer mail carriers were bit by dogs in Ohio last year, but the state is still among the highest in the nation. The United States Postal Service releases dog attack statistics every year, and in 2022, Ohio recorded 311, down from 359 the year before and 369 the year before that.

That puts Ohio in fifth place nationally, down from third place. Kentucky and Indiana didn't crack the top 10.

The USPS is observing National Dog Bite Awareness Week through June 10.

"When letter carriers deliver mail in our communities, dogs that are not secured or leashed can become a nemesis and unpredictable and attack," says Leeann Theriault, USPS employee safety and health awareness manager.

LISTEN: How to keep your pets safe in the summertime

Within Ohio, Cleveland had the most dog bites — 43 — last year, placing it fourth in the nation. Columbus recorded 23, Cincinnati had 22, Toledo 20, Akron 19 and Dayton had 18.

Louisville had 26 and Indianapolis 21.

The USPS trains carriers on how to act around dogs, but says dog owners can do a lot to prevent an incident: securing a dog inside the house, behind a fence, in another room or on a leash.

"When our mail carriers are bitten, it is usually a 'good dog' that had not previously behaved in a menacing way," says USPS Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director Linda DeCarlo. "In 2022, too many aggressive dogs impacted the lives of our employees while delivering the mail. Please help us reduce that number by being a responsible pet owner who secures their dog as we deliver the mail."

The Post Office says if a carrier feels unsafe because of a dog, mail service could be suspended to an individual address or even an entire neighborhood.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.