(KFVS) - To kick-off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the U.S. Postal Service has released its top 30 dog attack city rankings.
Nationwide, 5,581 postal employees were attacked last year according to the Post Office.
"There's a myth we often hear at the Postal Service," said Postal Service Manager of Safety Linda DeCarlo. "Don't worry — my dog won't bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the 4.5 million Americans bit by dogs annually, half are children.
DeCarlo shares the following tips:
· If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
· Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured.
· Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
· If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained.
· If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner's neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.
Here are the top 10 dog attack rankings by city:
1) Houston, Texas - 63 attacks
2) Los Angeles, California - 61 attacks
3) Cleveland, Ohio - 58 attacks
4) San Diego, California - 53 attacks
5) Chicago, Illinois - 47
Kansas City is ranked 10th in the country in dog bites. St. Louis is tied with Philadelphia and Seattle for 15th place. Memphis is ranked number 22.