Society

Dogs Bite 4.5 Million Americans, 5,581 USPS Letter Carriers in 2013

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

About 4.5 million Americans were bitten by dogs in the United States last year, including over 2 million children and 5,581 USPS letter carriers, the U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday in an effort to promote dog-bite prevention.

Houston ranked worst in the nation for dog attacks on letter carriers, pushing Los Angeles, last year's leader, to second place

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DOG BITE NUMBERS FOR USPS POSTAL LETTER CARRIERS:

63 letter carriers were bitten in Houston last year;

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61 in Los Angeles;

58 in Cleveland;

53 in San Diego; and

47 in Chicago.

62 cities are in the top 30 because of ties.

Seven cities came in 30th with 11 bites each.

PLASTIC SURGERY FOR DOG BITES:

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says 26,935 reconstructive procedures in 2013 were performed to repair injuries from dog bites nationwide.

DOG-BITE COSTS FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES:

The Insurance Information Institute estimates nationwide, insurance carriers paid out $483 million in dog-bite claims.

This Is slightly less than 2012, when dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out, totaling more than $489 million.

Insurance giant State Farm reports it paid $104 million for 3,700 claims in 2013.

TOP FIVE STATES FOR DOG BITE CLAIMS

Californians filed 449 claims and were paid $14.7 million;

Illinois filed 309 for $8.9 million;

Ohio had 221 claims for $4.2 million;

Texas, 207 claims for $4 million;

Pennsylvania, 180 claims for $5.8 million.

In the same week that a video went viral showing a hero cat saving a little boy from a dog attack, research revealed the cost of dog bite claims has risen 45 percent in the last decade.

Sources: Trib Town, CBS News