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Dog owners told to feed pet before post arrives and lock them in room for ten minutes after postman has left, under Royal Mail guidance

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 07/07/2019 Katie O'Neill
Royal Mail employees bitten by dogs have been left with permanent and disabling injuries - PA © Rui Vieira/PA Royal Mail employees bitten by dogs have been left with permanent and disabling injuries - PA

Dog owners should feed their pets before the postman arrives and lock them away for ten minutes after he leaves, the Royal Mail has said following a spate of attacks. 

Every week in the last year around 47 postmen and women were attacked by dogs in the course of their work, new figures show. 

There were 2,484 dog attacks on postal staff in the past year, representing an increase of 9% on the year previously. 

Attacks have left some mail workers with “permanent and disabling injury” the report said. 

In response the Royal Mail has issued a set of guidelines to dog owners to prevent further attacks in which it warns even the most lovable dog can pose a danger to delivery workers. 

Among the postal services’ advice is to give your dog some food to occupy them while mail is being delivered. 

Some of the attacks on postal workers in the past year have been extremely serious © PA Some of the attacks on postal workers in the past year have been extremely serious

Pet owners should shut their canines in a secure room when the postman comes knocking and  “wait 10 minutes after mail has arrived to let your pet back into your hallway”.

In several postcodes, attacks on postal workers have risen. Telford has seen the rate of dog attacks quadruple, Royal Mail said. 

In the last year, 883 or 35% of dog attacks on postal workers happened at the front door or in the garden, the report said. 

a close up of a sign: A Royal Mail postal van © Luke MacGregor/Reuters A Royal Mail postal van

Tina O’Toole, a postwoman who has been working in Warrington for three years was set upon and bitten on the leg by a dog in the front garden of a property she was delivering to. 

Ms O’Toole received treatment in hospital for her injury and required a skin flap. She was unable to work for five weeks following the incident. 

“The day before the attack, the dog had attempted to grab the mail through the box. That made me think it was quite aggressive,” Ms O’Toole said. 

a close up of a box: Letter revenues and volumes are declining rapidly © Getty Letter revenues and volumes are declining rapidly

“On the day of the attack… I turned to leave the premises when I heard the dog barking and running up behind me. As I was attempting to get through the gate I felt pain to my right calf.

Ms O’Toole said she “went int shock” when she saw the blood seeping through her trousers. 

“It would have been much worse if I was wearing shorts. Neighbours called the ambulance and I was rushed to hospital.”

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