Good news for Southern California postal workers: Los Angeles is no longer the dog bite capital of the nation. In rankings released Wednesday by USPS, Houston retook the top spot on the list of cities with the most canine attacks on postal workers. With just 56 such incidents in 2015—down from 75 the year before—Los Angeles finished well behind the Texas metropolis, where there were a whopping 77 attacks. LA came in fourth overall on this ignominious list, though because of ties for the second and third spots, it actually finished behind five other cities (Houston, San Diego, Cleveland, Dallas, and Chicago, if you were wondering).
As amusing as all this may be, it’s of course no laughing matter for the 56 postal workers bitten last year. Fortunately, as City News Service (via the Hollywood Patch) reports, USPS is planning to implement measures to protect its workers from overzealous guard dogs. First, when customers request a package pickup online—often requiring postal workers to venture all the way to the front door—they must specify whether dogs live on the premises. This at least gives USPS employees the time to mentally and physically prepare themselves for a canine encounter.
The second safety measure gives postal workers the ability to enter the addresses of aggressive dogs into a database accessible by other employees. As USPS mentions in a press release, this will be “especially helpful to substitutes who fill-in for letter carriers on their days off.” With any luck, these precautionary steps will help reduce the dog bites in LA by another 25 percent next year.