(AP Photo/David Goldman, File).
DeCarlo highlighted USPS safety measures that alert letter carriers to dogs on their delivery routes. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at carriers.
But nothing prepared the 17-year postal veteran from Hatboro, Pennsylvania, for what happened when a woman answered his knock.
"Dogs are very protective of their families and I understand that", Hass said. "There was nothing I could do".
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In 2016, 6,755 mail carriers reported being attacked by dogs, more than one thousand more than the previous year.
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The high for attacks dated back to the 1980s, at more than 7,000, before maulings by pit bulls and other potentially aggressive dogs became a public issue.
Sixty attacks were reported in the Cleveland metro area past year, ranking the city behind Los Angeles (80 attacks) and Houston (62 attacks). The survey was released Thursday as part National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which begins Sunday. If a dog is seen roaming the neighborhood, the owner's neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the post office. Medical expenses and workers' compensation cost the Postal Service millions of dollars each year.
"This is a serious safety concern", says Mary Dando of the U.S. Postal Service. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, and nearly one in five bites becomes infected. Houston carriers reported 62 attacks, Cleveland came in third with 60, San Diego reported 57, and Louisville carriers were attacked 51 times.
USPS released this ranking of cities by number of dog attacks in 2016. That's up 200 attacks from 2015. The package pickup application at usps.com urges customers to indicate if they have dogs when they schedule package pickups.
"It's always on your mind as a carrier, 'Is there a dog in the area and is it a threat?'" said Solomon. Among them are tools which let carriers know which homes have dogs.