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By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

Houston has jumped to the No. 1 most dangerous city in the nation when it comes to dogs biting postal workers.

Last year, dogs attacked 5,581 postal employees. Houston wrested the top spot from Los Angeles, which fell to No. 2 in the latest standings.

Officials say about 4.5 million Americans were bitten last year by dogs in the United States; 2 million of them were children. In a case this week caught on video, a dog in Bakersfield, Calif., attacked a child, who was rescued by the family cat, which fiercely pounced on the invading canine, much like a lion defending its cub against jackals.

Warnings against dog bites come around every May as society prepares to celebrate Dog Bite Prevention Week.

In what is an annual rite, the U.S. Postal Service is reminding people to take care of their dogs.

Here is the list of top dog-bite cities for postal carriers:

1. Houston: 63 bites

2. Los Angeles: 61 bites

3. Cleveland: 58 bites

4. San Diego: 53 bites

5. Chicago: 47 bites

Sixty-two cities were dangerous enough to rank in the top 30, which had to be expanded because of ties. Seven cities came in 30th with 11 bites each.

Photo: The Bill Hughes Gazette via Flickr

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