This is not man bites dog.
It's about dogs biting people, but it's still news.
The U.S. Postal Service has listed Sacramento among the worst dog-attack cities in the country.
The Postal Service listed 15 cities with 28 or more attacks in 2010 and showed Sacramento in 14th place, with 30 attacks on postal workers.
Houston was by far the worst, with 68 attacks.
Sacramento's ranking was actually down from a fourth-place finish about three years ago, said Ralph Petty, spokesman for the USPS Sacramento region, which stretches from Stockton to Redding. The region had 109 carrier bites in 2010, he said.
Population plays a factor all 15 bite capitals are among the country's biggest cities but Sacramento's rate is high for its population ranking.
State Farm Insurance reported that it paid $11 million in claims for dog bites in California in 2010, the most of any state.
Whether Sacramento's ranking results from meaner dogs or weaker screen doors or something else is unclear, as comparative statistics aren't available.
The Postal Service and insurers who pay dog bite claims released statistics this week mainly to make dog owners aware ahead of summer prime dog-bite season.
"It picks up in summertime because kids are out of school," said Petty.
The seasonal spike confirmed by insurers and animal control officials may also come because more people are out walking.
Saturdays are worst because people are out in the yard with their pets and are a bit too relaxed, said Robert Bell, a carrier out of the Parkway Station in Sacramento.
He was bitten by a stray hiding under a car in March, but not as severely as an 11-stitch incident over a decade ago.
Sacramento's high ranking may be due to the "sprawl factor," said Jennifer Fearing, California state director for the Humane Society of the United States. Unlike New York, San Francisco or Chicago, we're spread out and mail carriers still bring mail to many individual homes.
The bites are mostly preventable.
"You have to know your surroundings," said Daniel Torres, chief animal control officer for Sacramento.
Be aware of what dogs are in the area and know that they don't observe property lines or even, in some cases, fences.
Torres noted that letter carrier bites are just a fraction of the problem. Since July 1, 2010, there have been 389 recorded bites in the city, 112 of those by pit bulls, he said.
He cautioned that large dogs don't necessarily bite more often, but their bites are reported more often.
If a Chihuahua bites you, he said, "You go, 'ouch,' and you kick at it."
If a larger dog bites, you may end up visiting a doctor, who is obligated by law to report the bite.
Dogs that bite may be isolated to check for rabies, and in some cases, euthanized.
"Just because your dog bites, though, doesn't mean the county's going to take it away," said Annie Parker, a spokeswoman for Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation.
"Most customers are very good about controlling their dogs," Bell said. The problem dogs are those that people don't think are a problem.
"He won't bite them because he knows them," Bell said. "If they got teeth, they will bite. They might be having a bad day."
HOW TO AVOID DOG BITES
Experts offer advice to dog owners and to those who want to avoid becoming bite victims.
Don't leave any dog alone with babies or small children.
Don't assume your friendly dog will never bite. Err on the side of caution.
Neglected dogs often turn into biters. Neutered dogs are less likely to stray or bite.
Keep your dog indoors or securely restrained when you know a carrier is around.
Don't run past a dog. Its instinct is to chase.
Don't pet or approach unfamiliar dogs, and teach children this as well.
If walking where there may be loose dogs, carry something to put between you and a dog.
Be aware that a dog may not consider a property line, fence or door an obstacle.