South Yorkshire Police dog Milo has been showing his support for a Royal Mail campaign which aims to remind dog owners to keep their canines under control in a bid to reduce the number of animal-related attacks over the school holidays.
The school holidays see a significant increase in animal-related attacks on Royal Mail workers which can result in life-changing injuries, according to figures.
So, this Easter South Yorkshire Police are reminding dog owners about their responsibilities and giving some practical advice so that everyone can enjoy this time of year.
Currently if your dog bits or injures a person, you could be liable for prosecution under the Dangerous Dogs Act, regardless of whether the incident has taken place in public or on private property.
PC Becky Robinson, a Dog Legislation Officer, said: “On average, seven postmen or women are attacked by dogs every day in the UK whilst delivering our mail. Dog attacks are extremely traumatic for the victim and can leave them with a lifetime of physical and mental scars.
“The subsequent investigation can also cause great amounts of anxiety and stress for the dog owner as they await the outcome of any proceedings. The consequences of a prosecution could include the seizure of your dog and a destruction order being issued at Court.”
To help keep your family and any visitors to you home safe, South Yorkshire Police have issued the following advice:
The good news is that the overwhelming majority of these cases can be avoided. To help keep your family and any visitors to your home safe, please consider the following advice.
To help combat the number of attacks, and keep people safe South Yorkshire Police have issued the following advice.
Never leave young children unsupervised with a dog regardless of its size, breed or temperament. Any dog can behave in an unpredictable manner and the risk is not worth the potential consequences.
Make sure your dog has somewhere safe and comfortable to go to when you have visitors, as these events can overwhelm them.
If you’re expecting the post or any deliveries, make sure your dog is out of the way and distracted elsewhere in the house or garden.
Many dog attacks happen when you open the door to sign for parcels. Before answering, put your dog in another room and teach children to do the same, especially when they’re at home during school holidays.
Consider installing a letterbox cage if your dog has a tendency to attack your mail.
If it is not practical to secure your dog during the day, consider installing an external mailbox on the edge of your property.
Everyone should ensure their dog is microchipped and that the details on the microchip are up to date.
PC Robinson added: “Generally speaking, dogs are not inherently dangerous but they can become prone to attack if they feel themselves or their territory are being threatened.
“They don’t understand our world or that the postman is not a threat, so it is our responsibility as owners to do everything we can to avoid putting them in those situations in the first place.”