SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – San Diego ranks as one of the top cities in the country for letter carriers being attacked by dogs.

In honor of next week’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the Postal Service is hoping to raise awareness and make sure employees are safe on the job.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the number of postal employees attacked by dogs nationwide reached 6,244 in 2017 — more than 500 fewer than 2016.

“We’re encouraged by the decrease in dog attacks,” said U.S. Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo in San Diego, where postal employees suffered 46 attacks — the fifth ranked city in 2017. “The totals are still too high, but we’re confident that with continuing education and dog bite prevention training, along with advancing technology, we can keep more people safe and keep attacks trending downward.”

In 2010, Eddie Lin, a father of three, was killed when he was attacked by a Rottweiler while delivering mail in Oceanside.

“A loose dog charged and knocked him down to the ground. He died from blunt force to the head,” said San Diego Postmaster, Lisa Baldwin.

In 2012, 59-year-old Susan Jansen died from a stroke after a Pitbull attack.

“She made her delivery and was on her way to the next house when the dog became loose and attacked her from behind,” said Baldwin.

Celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell encouraged dog owners and their children to keep dogs separated from the mailman.

“It’s all about education and that is how we are going to prevent dog bites,” she said.

U.S. Postal Service tips on dog bite prevention:

  • If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
  • Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
  • The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office.

The Post Office is using the #PreventDogBites to help increase awareness.