Philly makes USPS top 10 list for dog attacks

UPDATE: Our friends at the Animal Farm Foundation, a New York-based group which advocates for "pit bull breed" dogs, produced a neat little training video below for UPS drivers with some simple tips for delivering a package safely when there's a dog in the yard.



It's no city of brotherly love for the mailmen and women of Philadelphia.

The U.S. Postal Service has released a list of the top ten most dangerous cities for letter carriers and Philadelphia came in at number eight.

Houston leads the list with 62 carriers attacked in 2010.

Philadelphia was tied with Denver for eighth place with 31 attacks.

Last year, across the U.S., 5,669 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities.

The postal service said that number pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans bitten annually, most of them children. Dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners' insurance liability claims paid out in 2010 costing nearly $413 million.

National Dog Prevention Week begins Sunday. The annual event provides dog attack prevention tips and information on responsible pet ownership. 

Tips for avoiding an attack:

*Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.

*If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.

*Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.

*People choosing to pet dogs should obtain permission from the owner first and always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.

*If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.

Tips for being a responsible dog owner:

*Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs.

*When a carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door in another room.

*Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of letter carriers as a threat. Please take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.

*Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to roam and bite.

Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters. Groups like Altoona-based Dogs Deserve Better have lobbied successfully nationwide to ban 24/7 dog chaining. Bills that would do so in Pennsylvania have been introduced but have not been voted on by the General Assembly.

See the full list of 25 most dangerous cities here.