By Chelsea Karnash
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a scene that’s been used in television shows and cartoons so many times it’s become a cliché: Dog bites postman.
But according to data released by the United States Postal Service, it’s also a very real scene, and it happens here in Philadelphia more often than in most other cities.
Citing data from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the USPS says that postal workers are the third most likely people to be bitten by dogs, behind small children and the elderly.
And on the USPS’s list of the top cities for dog bites in 2012, Philadelphia came in sixth, with 34 postal workers reportedly attacked by dogs last year.
A similar ranking from State Farm Insurance also puts the Keystone State fifth in the country for dog bites, with 165 claims filed in 2012.
“Many dogs are cherished members of their family and people believe their dog won’t bite, but given the right circumstances, any dog can attack,” said Ken Snavely, acting postmaster of Los Angeles, where the most canine attacks on postal workers occurred last year, in a release. “Dogs do not reason like people do and they will react to their instinct to protect their family and territory.”
The USPS information was released in advance of National Dog Bite Awareness Week, which runs from May 19 – 25.