(Cleveland) - The U.S. Postal Service has released its Top 30 Dog Attack city rankings and offered tips to reduce dog attacks to letter carriers. Nationwide, 5,581 postal employees were attacked last year.

“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service,” said the Cleveland Postal Service's David Van Allen. “Don’t worry - my dog won’t bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.” He says there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners.

Cleveland is listed as 3rd in the nation for the number of dog attacks against postal workers. Houston is first, followed by Los Angeles both are much larger cities than Cleveland, where there were 58 dog attacks in 2013.

Van Allen tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, dog attacks are more than threats, they require medical attention, and often result in time lost on the job.

He suggests, if a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.

He urges dog owners to remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.

The Van Allen says the Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority, so if a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.

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