MINNEAPOLIS - Beyond the snow, rain and sleet, postal carriers in the Twin Cities are also dealing with another job hazard -- an uptick in pooch problems. 

According to a new report, metro postal carriers were bitten by dogs 69 times in 2016 -- an increase of 27 percent from the previous year. Statewide, there were 118 incidents of dogs biting mail carriers. 

The U.S. Postal Service states the number of attacks are up across the country -- they've seen 200 more cases in 2016 than in 2015. 

In a state-by-state ranking, Minneapolis is listed at No. 10 for dog bites. Los Angeles is ranked No. 1 and Washington, D.C. is dead last. 

Due to this rise in canine encounters, the postal service is asking dog owners to help in reducing these incidents. They released the following reminders:

  • If a postal carrier delivers a certified letter or a package 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 carriers.
  • Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should tell 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.
  • If your dog attacks a postal carrier, you could be held liable for all medical expenses and other costs.
  • The USPS places the safety of its employees as a top priority. Your mail delivery, and those of your neighbors, may be interrupted or mode of delivery may be changed if your postal carrier is threatened by loose dogs in your neighborhood.