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Chicago ranked fifth for Postal Service dog bites in 2013

In 2013, 47 employees of the U.S. Postal Service were bitten by dogs in Chicago. The number of attacks is actually up from 41 in 2012, but Chicago still dropped from third to fifth place in the Postal Service’s annual rankings.

It’s ruff news for a city that consistently ranks as one of the country’s best for both dogs and dog lovers.

The U.S. Postal Service released the data earlier this year as part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week. 5,581 Postal Service employees were bitten by dogs last year, part of the 4.5 million Americans bitten annually. It’s a slight increase from 5,581 attacks in 2012.

The agency has a few tips for avoiding attacks, Post Office employee or not:

  • Anyone wanting to pet a dog should first obtain permission from the owner
  • Always let a dog see and sniff you before petting the animal
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies
  • 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.
  • If you are knocked down by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands.

Good advice all around.

[H/T Washington Post]