Royal Mail is launching its fourth Dog Awareness Week in the DD postcode area, with support from the Communication Workers Union and a wide range of organisations and animal charities.
The campaign aims to further raise awareness of the issue of dog attacks on postmen and women and encourage responsible dog ownership.
Dog attacks are a significant hazard, faced by postmen and women on a daily basis. Around 26 postmen and women were attacked across the DD postcode area by dogs from April 2015 to April 2016, down 24 per cent on the previous year. Royal Mail is committed working with customers to drive this number down as every dog attack is one attack too many.
TV presenter and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Ambassador, Paul O’Grady is backing the campaign again and said: “Dogs can be quite protective of their owners and homes. They believe they are merely defending their property, but it’s important to recognise that this behaviour can sometimes escalate to dog bite incidents with anyone coming to your home, including postmen. No one should feel unsafe in the workplace and it’s important we as dog owners, take the necessary steps to give postmen this same respect. Encourage good behaviour when someone new visits. Just spending time getting your pets familiar with guests coming to the house will help create a safer environment for all.”
The number of attacks rises by 10% during the school holidays and in the summer months when parents and children are at home.
New research released today as part of Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week found that over a quarter (27 per cent) of UK parents who own a dog confessed that their canine has been loose in the house when an exterior door (such as the front door) was open. In the last year, 36 per cent of dog attacks on postal workers have happened at the front door while 35% took place in the front garden– the equivalent to 1888 attacks. At these times, dogs are more likely to be unsupervised in the garden.
Rob Jenson, Operations Director for Royal Mail said: “We know that the overwhelming majority of dogs are friendly most of the time, however, even the most placid animal will defend itself if it feels its territory is being threatened. Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers.
“Our postmen and women deliver to over 29 million addresses across the country. We ask them to exercise caution and respect for all family members, including pets when delivering the mail. This summer, we are also appealing to dog owners and their families across the DD postcode area to help reduce the numbers of attacks, particularly at the door and in the garden.”
A poster will be on display in enquiry offices across the UK giving tips to dog owners on how they can help keep the postman safe when they call to deliver their mail.
A national Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all postmarked letters from Monday, July 4, to Friday, July 8.