Park your pooch and protect your postie

By Tom Ravlic

May 3, 2022

dog-running
“Yippee! The mail’s here!” (picsbyst/Adobe)

Government agencies and government business enterprises would not normally broadcast messages related to work, health and safety to the wider community, but Australia Post has had to on this occasion.

It all relates to the dangers posed by pooches.

Australia Post reports a surge in its staff being attacked by dogs as posties go about their business, with an average of five posties being subjected to a dog attack each day.

The mail delivery giant says there were more than 1,173 incidents this financial year to date, and the general manager of network operations, Rod Barnes, said the awareness campaign now being run by the postal services was a reminder for pet owners to keep their dogs secured.

“It can sometimes be difficult to imagine that an otherwise friendly family pet might pose a risk to others, but the reality is that our people are being hurt or placed in danger on a daily basis,” Barnes said.

“These incidents can be traumatic for our team members and have lasting effects not only in terms of physical injury but also their mental health, and they may no longer feel safe delivering to locations where incidents have occurred.

“Even if a dog doesn’t bite it can cause a serious accident by running in front of a postie or driver in an electric delivery vehicle, and that can also result in an injury to your pet, so we’re really asking that people remember to shut their gates, keep their pets secured and help make sure our people can deliver their parcels and mail to them safely.”

Veterinarian Dr Katrina Warren has been recruited to help Australia Post get the message about ensuring that their dogs are kept away from where postal service workers might drop by on a property.

Warren said that a dog might be encouraged to keep barking at a postal service worker if they perceive the barking got rid of them the last time they delivered the post.

“The problem is the postie always comes back, so your dog will bark at them again to make them go away but after a while, your dog may up the ante and bark more, growl, lunge or even bite to ensure your postie really gets the picture,” Warren said.


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