A postman has been seriously injured in an “horrific” dog attack in Meltham.

The postal worker was delivering mail in Golcar Brow Road when he was set upon by the dog and sustained serious injuries to his arm.

It is understood that the dog, thought to be a Staffordshire breed, had to be hit several times with a shovel before it would let go.

The postman, named locally as “Jack” and thought to be in his 20s, was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where he has undergone emergency surgery to his injured arm. The dog was seized by police following the attack, which happened late this morning.

Robert Dickinson, of Copley Avenue, used the shovel to try stop the dog.

“All I could hear was wrenching screams for help,” he said.

“I came out, saw him and ran back to get the shovel.

“It had pinned him against a fence.

“I hit the dog with the shovel but it wouldn’t let go. It was hungry for blood, you could see it in its eyes.

Blood on the pavement on Golcar Bank Road, Meltham, where a dog attacked a postman

“It was some sort of Staffy.”

Neighbour Stacey Allan, of Copley Avenue, estimated that the attack lasted around five to 10 minutes.

“It was horrible. The dog had hold of his right arm.

“It was pulling him around and he was in agony and there was blood everywhere.

“We got it off and he fell to the floor.

“His arm was pumping with blood so we put belt around to try stem it until the ambulance came.

He had to be taken into the ambulance and the police came and took the dog away.

Video thumbnail, Chloe Glover describes the dog attack in Meltham
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“It’s shocking because lots of children play around here. Something needs to be done so this doesn’t happen again.”

A man, who would not give his name but was living at the house where the dog came from, confirmed the attack but said he was “only looking after it for a friend.”

He added: “I went to get the post and the dog must’ve jumped over the fence in the back garden.”

Police said nobody had yet been arrested since the 10.50am attack, but the dog had been seized. No description of the dog was given.

Royal Mail spokeswoman Morag Turnbull said: “Royal Mail can confirm that a serious incident occurred today in Golcar Brow Road, Meltham, when a postman was attacked by a dog in the street whilst delivering the mail.

“Police attended the scene and seized the dog. The postman has been taken to hospital and is receiving treatment to an injury to his arm. Our thoughts are with him and his family at this distressing time.

A spokeswoman for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said: “The postman is a member of the union and safety reps and other union officials have been involved. He has apparently suffered very serious injuries including significant blood loss. He is at Huddersfield Royal infirmary having emergency surgery, I understand.

“We would like the law to be applied to both the owner and keeper of the dog.”

A recent change in the law means prosecutions can be brought in cases where dog attacks occur on private property as well as in public places.

The area of Golcar Bank Road, Meltham, where a dog attacked a postman

Dave Joyce, CWU health, safety and environment officer, said: “This is a serious attack with serious injuries and we expect the owner and keeper of this dog to feel the full force of the law.

“Our thoughts are firstly with our member who has been seriously injured during the course of his job delivering the post. We will give him every support he needs, including through the criminal prosecution which we expect to be brought and also if he wants to pursue civil action.

“We expect the police to bring an appropriate prosecution following their investigation.”

Three years ago, Royal Mail suspended deliveries to 120 addresses in the Meltham area following a dog attack in Copley Avenue which left postman Jason Lee needing plastic surgery after he had chunks of flesh and muscle torn from his arm.

Royal Mail said deliveries had not been halted this time as the dog had been removed and there was no immediate danger to postal workers – but said a close eye would be kept on the situation.

There were 16 dog attacks on postal workers across the Huddersfield postcode area last year with four of them in the HD9 area covering Holmfirth and Meltham.

In a case earlier this year, the owner of a dog was fined £9,000 after a postwoman had the tips of her fingers bitten off.

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, conviction can result in an unlimited fine and up to five years in jail.