A POSTWOMAN who had her finger bitten off by a dog while delivering mail is helping launch a campaign encouraging pet owners to keep their animals under control.
The Royal Mail worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, lost part of her finger in the attack in West Yorkshire in April.
Now scarred for life, she is urging animal owners to act responsibly to help reduce the alarmingly high number of delivery staff who are being attacked across Yorkshire.
From April to June this year, there were 93 animal attacks on postmen and women throughout the region.
And if people don’t keep their pets under control, they risk losing their deliveries.
The dog which attacked the postwoman was inside the house when she called to deliver a parcel. She said: “I was trying to deliver the parcel but no-one was in, so I filled out the form letting the customer know that it would be available for collection.
“I posted it through the letterbox and the dog, which was behind the door, lunged forward, bitting me. I lost part of my finger in the attack and since than I’ve been unable to work.
“Even now I get a lot of pain and I don’t want any of my colleagues to suffer like this.”
Alison Wright, Royal Mail’s general manager for mid Yorkshire, said: “We know that not all dogs are dangerous but even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.
“Our first priority is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people and increasingly we have to suspend deliveries because dogs are on the loose and it is not safe for our postmen and women.
“We have an extensive ongoing training programme in place to ensure staff are aware of the ways to manage the risk of a dog attack.
“Our customers can also help by not allowing their dog access to any areas used by our delivery staff. They should also try to keep pets away from their letterbox – many of our attacks are caused by dogs snatching mail from the letterbox at the time of delivery.”
Royal Mail issues its staff with sonic alarms which give out a high-pitched frequency which cannot be heard by humans but keeps animals safely at bay.