It is Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week (no, I wasn’t aware of it either!) and they’ve published the dog attack figures for April 2014 to April 2015, which are DOWN by 10% from the previous year to 2660.
Whilst even one attack by a dog is one too many, to place this in context the Royal Mail deliver to 29million addresses in the UK, but many will not be households (business addresses for example), so let’s take half as being family homes, and about one in four households owns a dog – so that’s 3.6million households and seven attacks daily, or about one for every half a million dog-owning households.
For every dog that attacks a post man or woman, there are 499,999 that don’t, every day.
71% of the attacks took place either at the front door or in the front garden. Assuming the postmen and women aren’t going into houses, that leaves 29% happening out in the street. This is not responsible dog ownership.
These figures, being prior to May 2015, represent a time before S3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act applied to private property. Every dog attack after then, whether on public or private property, can be prosecuted. Penalties include fines, imprisonment, the dog being destroyed and being banned for dog ownership for life.
Please, if you have a dog that you have any concerns about, don’t expose yourself, and them, to the risk. It is fairly easy to keep your dog out of the way when the postman or woman calls. There are only one in half a million of us getting it wrong but that’s 2660 too many – and 2660 people who are being injured for trying to deliver your mail.
You’ve got two options.
One: keep your dog and the postman apart, for ever. It isn’t difficult, we have doors and opposable thumbs for working them. If you can’t work a door, erect a post-box for your letters at the gate (although good luck with that if you can’t work a door).
Two: train your dog not to attack the post man or woman. If you can’t do that, employ someone who can to help you.
Sorry, you’ve got three options.
Option three – do both.
I’ll be really interested to see the figures for next year, which will presumably include prosecutions – I hope fewer people will be involved for everyone’s sake.