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Danger! 15 worst cities for dog attacks – CBS News

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People love dogs, but dogs don’t always love us back. Each year, more than 4.7 million Americans suffer dog bites, including 800,000 serious enough to require medical attention. Dogs can turn vicious just about anywhere, but statistics compiled by the U.S. Postal Service suggest that the problem is bigger problem in some cities than in others.

Keep clicking to see the 15 cities in which mail carriers were bitten the most in 2010, along with tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association on helping dogs keep their teeth to themselves.

The statistics were released to mark National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 15 to 21.
The city that boasts the most cloudy days kicks off the list, with 28 attacks on mail carriers in 2010.
Tip for dog owners: “All 72 million dogs in the U.S. are capable of being a good dog, but any can be put in a situation where they bite,” Dr. Lori Teller, immediate past president of the Texas Veterinary Association, told CBS News. If your dog is acting strange, take it to the vet ASAP. Pain or illness can make a dog aggressive and put someone in the hospital.
Dogs from California’s capital attacked 30 postal workers in 2010. Maybe these mutts were disgruntled Kings fans?
Tip for dog owners: Make sure to pick a dog that’s right for your lifestyle. Never purchase a puppy on impulse.

The Mile High City was the scene of 31 dog attacks on postal carriers in 2010.
Tip for dog owners: Train your dog. Teaching your dogs the basic commands, “sit,” “stay,” “no,” and “come” helps them understand what is expected of them and helps cultivate a bond of trust between pets and people.

“City of brotherly love?” Try telling that to the 31 mail carriers who were attacked by dogs in Philadelphia last year.

Tip for dog owners: Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so that it feels at ease around people and other animals.
The “City of Roses” didn’t look so pretty to mail carriers, 35 of whom were attacked by dogs in 2010.
Tip for dog owners: Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and to provide mental stimulation.
In 2010, 38 mail carriers were attacked by dogs in Cleveland.

Tip for dog owners: Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Health care not only protects your dog but also affects its behavior.

Was it the desert heat that caused 38 dogs to attack mail carriers in Phoenix in 2010?
Tip for dog owners: If you have a fenced yard, make sure the gates are secure.
In Texas’ second-largest city, 39 mail carriers were attacked by dogs in 2010.

Tip for dog owners: Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. Children must learn not to approach strange dogs or try to pet dogs through fences, and should always ask permission from the dog’s owner before petting.

St. Louis dogs attacked 39 mail carriers in 2011.
Tip for dog owners: Owners should neuter their pets, and use a leash whenever bringing the dog in public.
The home of the Kentucky Derby came in fourth on the list – 40 mail carriers were attacked by dogs there in 2010.

Tip for dog owners: If you believe a dog is about to attack, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or bicycle.
La-la land is known for movie stars, fancy cars – and now, dog bites. In 2010, 44 mail carriers were attacked by dogs there.

Tip for dog owners: If you are bitten by a dog, request proof of rabies vaccination from the owner (assuming it’s not your dog), clean the bite with soap and water ASAP, and contact your doctor or visit the ER immediately.
Year-round gorgeous weather wasn’t enough to stop dogs from pouncing on postal carriers in San Diego. The city saw 45 mail carriers attacked by dogs in 2010.

Tip for dog owners: Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.
The most populous city in Ohio tied for second place on the list of dog bite capitals. Last year, dogs there attacked 45 mail carriers.
Tip for dog owners: Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims, behind children. If your dog lives near the elderly, be especially careful.
Are dogs more dangerous in Houston than in other cities? The city tops the Postal Service’s list , with 62 mail carriers attacked there in 2010.

First published on May 17, 2011 / 11:18 AM EDT
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