Houston Bites the Most

HOUSTON BITES THE MOST Dogs bit mail carriers more times in Houston last year than in any other U.S. city, the U.S. Postal Service announced yesterday — in advance of National Dog Bite Prevention Week. 62 dogs got a taste of a Houston postal employee in 2010; San Diego and Columbus, Ohio, ranked second, with only 45 incidents each. The nationwide tally: 5,669 canine attacks on mail carriers in more than 1,400 cities, costing the agency nearly $1.2 million in medical expenses. [USPS]

13 Comment

  • TO protect your dogs, please keep them secured indoors and never, ever tie them out on a rope or chain. This makes them more aggressive and children can walk right up to them and get badly hurt.

    Most importantly, spay and neuter your pets. 99% of all dog bite fatalities involve unneutered/unspayed dogs.

  • “Most importantly, spay and neuter your pets. 99% of all dog bite fatalities involve unneutered/unspayed dogs.”

    EMME, I don’t see a connection. Are you implying causation or just being ironic?

    Is an unspayed dog really more violent, or is an owner who is responsible enough to spay (or neuter) their dogs also more likely to responsibly control their dog as well?

  • Several years ago we had a neighbor across the street with a beautiful red fluffy chow that loved to escape the back yard. He’d go around to the front and lay on the sidewalk. I don’t know that he ever bit anyone but he was an intimidating sight.

    He did frighten our mail carrier though. So much so that mail was suspended (left at the PO) not only to the dog owner’s house but to the houses on both sides of him as well as the three houses across the street. Six houses got no mail for 2 days, until the neighbor figured out how to contain his chow.

  • Unspayed dogs wandering about can definitely set off the unaltered boys who can scent her. If you want to get in between a horny male and a female giving off signals, be my guest. I got all my dogs fixed and avoid Washington Avenue on the weekends for the same reason – safety first.



  • I have a hard time believing that a statistically significant number of bites occur when the victim is in between an in-heat female dog and an unfixed male dog.

    ASPCA or whoever will throw a bunch of shit against the wall hoping some of it sticks, but that does not make the 99% figure correct or mean that there is a similar high percentage for non-fatal bites. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had any dog or cat I ever owned fixed because I’ve been either in a suburb or a city. I think that the ASPCA does some wonderful work, but that’s no reason to accept PR at face value.

    As an aside, the only time I was bitten by a dog (that I remember), was by an fixed dog. I was on my bike at the time, that dog had been asleep 100 ft. away and … That’s my single data point.

  • …”that I remember”: rules any early childhood run-ins with animals which I can’t remember.

  • My dog would love to get a piece of the postman. But since he can’t get to him, he appeases himself by attacking the mail as it comes through the slot. He’s always very proud of this important service he provides me–when I get home, he’ll stand over the torn-up pile, tail-a-waggin’.

    But seriously, if I’m there when the mail drops, it’s kinda scary.

  • @toadfroggy, you may want to put an external box out. We put one in the porch. Having the dog trying hard to get at you through the door can be almost as traumatic as facing him without the door between you, particularly when they are hurtling down the hallway before flinging themselves at the door. USPS can also stop your direct delivery on those grounds.

  • I wonder how much of the problem is dumb dog owners who leave their dogs in the yard, vs strays – I’ve never seen as many stray dogs in any city as I have here in Houston.

  • eiioi, that’s not the only cause, but fixing makes a dog’s general disposition calmer and less inclined to escape in an excited state. If I had to narrow down a proximate cause for dog bites, it would be lack of proper socialization before the puppy is 16-20 weeks old. This is the prime window for teaching that the man/woman walking up with the big bag is not an enemy. After a couple of weeks of getting a treat for waiting quietly by the door every time they saw someone approach the house from the window, mine couldn’t wait for the mail to come.

  • If you do a per capita analysis, Columbus, Ohio blows away Houston at the top.

    …bet Detroit does, too.

  • Unneutered males will do anything to get to a female in heat. That is why many get out of their fenced yards, break through windows, dig out. Unspayed females will first, cause the drive that gets the males on the streets, hormones surging and therefore more aggressive. Mama dogs are more aggressive with their hormones raging to protect their puppies.

    NOTE: I did not say 99% of all bites, I said 99% of all fatal bites.