Millions of Americans suffered dog bites last year. (Hiro Komae)

Statistics released Thursday show that Houston-area dogs attacked letter carriers 62 times in 2010. Nationwide, 5,669 postal employees were attacked by dogs in more than 1,400 U.S. cities, compared with the 4.7 million Americans bitten annually by dogs.

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.

So where do dogs bite letter carriers the most? Here are the listings, as provided by USPS:

1.) Houston: 62 letter carriers attacked in 2010.

2.) Columbus, Ohio and San Diego (tie): 45 each.

3.) Los Angeles: 44

4.) Louisville: 40

5.) San Antonio, Texas and St. Louis (tie): 39 each.

6.) Cleveland and Phoenix (tie): 38 each.

7.) Minneapolis and Portland, Ore.: 35 each.

8.) Denver and Philadelphia: 31 each.

9.) Sacramento: 30

10.) Seattle: 28

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