Daily Dose: Dogs Contributing To The Deficit?

You probably didn’t know that National Dog Bite Prevention Week exist (neither did I). More importantly you probably didn’t know that dog bites were costing the government big bucks. Seriously though, dogs biting postal workers is actually a problem… just ask the people in Houston.

Postal Service Says Houston Dogs Bite Most Often

USPS released the stats as part of next week’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which tries to raise awareness about dog attacks with prevention tips and information on responsible pet ownership.

Lest you laugh at the thought of wary letter carriers running from Poodles or Rotweilers, the Postal Service said it costs about $1.2 million annually to pay for the pain, suffering and medical expenses caused by dog bites. And the Insurance Information Institute said dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims paid out in 2010, costing nearly $413 million.

First off it sucks to be a mailman in Houston (click the link above to see the top 10 cities with the biggest dog problems). Secondly who would have ever thought that fido would be contributing to the budget crunch with his bite? To be honest I’ll admit I laughed a little when I learned that this was an actual expense for the government.

What’s the the funniest Gov’t expense you ever heard of?


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great stories in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send them to [email protected].

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Carol Davison

The deficit isn’t going to the dogs, its going to the dog owners who refused to train or confine their pet. Is it that Houston is republican and they hate government workers? My dog personally loves the letter carrier. He thinks he is delicious!

Doug Snyder

Ha, good one Andrew. So much for being man’s best friend. The world is “going to the dogs” unfortunately.


Carol, it is not that “Houston is republican and they hate government workers”. Texas is a republican state…republicans don’t ‘hate’ government workers (there are actually many government workers in Texas who happen to be republican and love what they do)….and Houston’s mayor, Annise Parker, is a democrat, as was her predecessor, Bill White.


And if you own one of those dogs? Here’s some statistics:

– U.S. home insurers paid 5.3 percent more for the average dog-bite claim last year (biggest jump since 2007 – due to increase in medical expenses & jury awards)

– The average cost per claim last year was $26,166. In 2009 it was $24,840 according to the Insurance Information Institute .

– 800,000 Americans, half of them children, seek medical attention for dog bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Of those injured, about 16 die.