Colleagues in Alfreton delivery office in Derbyshire know only too well the potential consequences of delivering to an address where there is a dog on the loose.
Phil Stone, a postman from Alfreton, has been attacked twice in the last few years.
Lucky to be alive
In 2007, Phil was attacked by a German Shepherd on a public road outside the dog owner’s property. Phil was about to deliver mail to the address when the dog ran and jumped the gate and attacked Phil resulting in some serious bites to his neck and face.
This left him requiring urgent medical attention and 21 stitches.
Phil says, ‘The owners of the dog thought he was friendly and would not bite, but I was lucky to be alive after the attack as the bites were less than an inch away from my jugular vein.’
The bites were so serious that Phil had to take eight weeks off to recover and required counselling before returning to work.
Second time unlucky
Thinking that all his bad luck with dogs was behind him, in recent weeks Phil has suffered another attack. As he tried to open a seven-foot solid gate to one of his delivery addresses, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier waiting behind the gate ran out and bit Phil’s hand.
Although this wasn’t so serious, Phil still had to go to hospital for treatment although luckily this time he did not require stitches.
Ian Nightingale, delivery office manager at Alfreton, says, ‘What has happened to Phil has really brought home the severe impact that a dog attack can have on you as a person.
‘The message to all frontline colleagues is clear and they understand that if a dog is loose in any yard, they are not to try and enter the property under any circumstances, no matter how friendly they think the dog is.
‘The risk does not match the possible consequences.’
If a dog is loose, never accept an owner’s word that their dog will not harm you. Ask the owner to restrain it.
Our picture shows Phil Stone.