SF Dog Bites On The Rise: SF Ranked On National Bites List, Local Lobbyist Gets Chomped

It’s been a good week for lists and rankings, what with SF being ranked the second most bike-friendly city in the country. Now we’ve got another potential accolade to contend with: rounding out the top five on letter-carrier dog bites.

According to a press release sent by the American Veterinary Medical Association (apparently, National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 19-25, hence the release. The rest of the year, Rover is free to bite away!), 38 mail carriers were bitten by dogs in San Francisco last year, ranking us fifth behind LA (69 bites), a tied San Antonio and Seattle (42 for both) and Chicago (41 attacks).

The Chron spoke with one bitten SF mail carrier, who said “My personal philosophy is, if they have teeth they will bite.”

SFians love their dogs and treat them like the children they are. Sometimes kids get rowdy and bite the mail carrier. There’s just something about the threat of a bill or another dreaded Valpack that makes them go ballistic. Sure.

But dog bites aren’t just relegated to postal workers. As the SF Business Times notes, lobbyist Alex Clemens of Barbary Coast Consulting recently fell victim to a dog bite outside his Mid-Market office.

“There were 20 or 30 citizens relaxing in UN Plaza and about a dozen of them jumped up and accused me of having punched the dog,” Clemens said in a Facebook post. “One person shoved me.”

Being the victim of a bite isn’t just traumatic, but expensive: According to the same AVMA press release we mentioned above, State Farm reports that California is the number one state for insurance claims for dog bites. 451 claims were filed last year, worth a total of $17.1 million.

the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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  • Christian Wolff

    $40,000 for a tetanus shot, maybe a few stitches, and a band aid? That seems a bit steep, am I missing something or is this another example of runaway health care costs?

    Also, what does usually happen to a pooch defending his parent’s home from the evil postal intruder (viewpoint of the dog)? Does the postal service have a specific policy for legal pusuit, or are they looking a this case by case?

  • Christian Wolff

    $40,000 for a tetanus shot, maybe a few stitches, and a band aid? That seems a bit steep, am I missing something or is this another example of runaway health care costs?

    Also, what does usually happen to a pooch defending his parent’s home from the evil postal intruder (viewpoint of the dog)? Does the postal service have a specific policy for legal pusuit, or are they looking a this case by case?

  • MistOfTheCity

    C’mon stop exaggerating. It is not $40k to get a tetanus shot. Doctors have been giving then to kids at regular visits for cuts on rusty nails and the like for decades.

    Also, the postal carrier who says “if they have teeth they will bite”. Hmm…I just asked my mail carrier if I ever bit him? He says, I do have teeth but I never bit him.

    Really folks?! Any red meat and it’s like chum for you. And sharks to bite nasty.

  • MistOfTheCity

    C’mon stop exaggerating. It is not $40k to get a tetanus shot. Doctors have been giving then to kids at regular visits for cuts on rusty nails and the like for decades.

    Also, the postal carrier who says “if they have teeth they will bite”. Hmm…I just asked my mail carrier if I ever bit him? He says, I do have teeth but I never bit him.

    Really folks?! Any red meat and it’s like chum for you. And sharks to bite nasty.

  • MistOfTheCity

    And, April, using Tillman the skateboarding bulldog from the iphone commercial, is so wrong. You are just exploiting for exploitation sake. That is NOT REAL REPORTING? It’s blogging!

    The attack on Mr. Clemens was a pit bull. So, put a pic of one there. Not a famous celebrity dog that has NEVER BITTEN ANYTHING except his food.

    Yeesh! Time to get a new job, April.

  • MistOfTheCity

    And, April, using Tillman the skateboarding bulldog from the iphone commercial, is so wrong. You are just exploiting for exploitation sake. That is NOT REAL REPORTING? It’s blogging!

    The attack on Mr. Clemens was a pit bull. So, put a pic of one there. Not a famous celebrity dog that has NEVER BITTEN ANYTHING except his food.

    Yeesh! Time to get a new job, April.