Dog Awareness Week

We’ve seen a welcome reduction in dog attacks over the past year – but AVOID is still the message

Our ninth annual Dog Awareness Week kicks off today, and runs until Sunday July 11 writes Zoe Walker.

The figures from the past year show that in 2020-2021, our posties suffered 1,690 dog attacks across the UK. This represents a drop of 31% compared to the previous year – during which 2,445 attacks took place.

Despite the drop, there were 33 dog attacks on postmen and women during that time – still 33 too many.

Press play to hear Dr Shaun Davis, our director of global compliance and sustainability, outlining the reasons for the reduction in dog attacks during the pandemic. And urging colleagues to remain on their guard as we head out of lockdown.

Dr Shaun says: ‘I’m really pleased that we have seen a reduction in dog attacks, but I am also really cautious.

‘We’ve had an unprecedented year. We’ve had different delivery methods. We’ve been able to leave things on the doorstep.

‘We’ve had people at home more. We’ve had the opportunity to protect our people by keeping the physical barrier of the door in place. Or the homeowner keeping the dogs back.

‘So I am really encouraged that we have seen a reduction. But I am also wary that we don’t go back into it blindly and without thinking about the risks that are presented by dogs.’

Colleagues are being urged to remind themselves of the AVOID message – which you will see reminders of throughout the week.

As part of Dog Awareness Week 2021, a special Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all stamped items from today until Sunday 11 July 2021.

You can read Parcelforce colleague Tim Murray’s experience with a dangerous dog and the lasting impact it had on him in the latest Courier – which will also be posted in this Workplace group later in the week. We will be hearing from other colleagues who have experienced dog attacks this week – look out for their stories on Workplace and myroyalmail.com

We are also asking colleagues to share their own personal stories and to post their Dog Awareness Week 2021 hints and tips on Workplace using the hashtag #daw2021.

So please share and discuss your knowledge. It could be that your experiences and invaluable insight will save a colleague from suffering from the permanent or disabling injuries that a dog attack can cause.

The lowdown on dog attacks on our posties in 2020 / 2021

41% of dog attacks took place at the front door

31% of dog attacks took place in the garden, driveway or yard

More than 20% of attacks on postal workers took place through the letterbox

8% of attacks took place in the street or road

Dog attacks on our colleagues resulted in more than 900 days of absence

5 Jul 2021