Australia Post reveals shocking postie dog attack numbers after meter reader killed

Home Lifestyle Australia Post reveals shocking postie dog attack numbers after meter reader killed
Australia Post reveals shocking postie dog attack numbers after meter reader killed

Australia Post has revealed posties are reporting on average seven dog attacks a day, with serious concerns things could get worse coming up to Christmas.

The revelation comes after Energex meter reader Kane Minion, 42, was mauled to death while on the job in Queensland’s southeast on December 3.

Australia Post released its shocking dog attack statistics on Monday, reporting 1000 workers had been involved in dog attacks since July and incidents had increased 55 per cent.

In the last five months, 986 incidents have been reported, compared to 1587 for the full 2021/22 financial year, the national postal service said.

Susan Davies, Australia Post executive general manager of people and culture, pleaded with residents to secure their pets.

“Unfortunately the recent events in Queensland show just how tragic situations can become with domestic dog attacks,” she said.

“And this time of year is a really busy time of year for us with deliveries and so we’re asking all dog owners to be responsible and just make sure they secure the dogs and ensure our posties and workers are safe.”

Ms Davies said they had seen workers with “horrific” physical injuries but also psychological issues after attacks.

She warned all dogs could be dangerous and needed to be taken seriously.

“One of the worst attacks we ever saw was with two dachshunds so it just goes to show you that whatever your dog is, keep it secured, keep it safe and keep our workers safe,” she said.

The front gate, letterbox, footpath and front door were the most common places for a postie to be attacked.

Australians are asked to be careful when opening their front door to ensure that their dog doesn’t run out from behind them and keep side gates securely closed when their dog is in the backyard.

Meter reader mauled to death by dogs

Kane Minion, 42, was mauled to death just after 10.45am on December 3 after a routine electricity meter check went horribly wrong.

He was working as a contractor for Energex when he was killed.

A Bandog Bullmastiff and a Rhodesian ridgeback cross were euthanised after council workers seized them from the Greenbank property – a rural suburb about 40km south of Brisbane.

Why dogs attack visiting workers

Speaking to after Mr Minion’s tragic death, pet behaviourist Dr Kate Mornement explained that attacking is part of a dog’s fight or flight response when they feel threatened.

However, she said people who are attacked do not necessarily threaten these dogs on purpose.

“A dog might attack because it feels threatened simply because an unfamiliar person enters their space or looks slightly different to what they’re used to causing fear or anxiety,” Dr Mornement, who is a certified applied animal behaviourist from Pets Behaving Badly, said.

Dogs who have been less exposed to different people may react to a person wearing items they’re not familiar with like a fluoro vest, a hat, dark clothing or sunglasses, she explained.

The signs dogs typically show before an attack can be easily missed.

“Subtle signs include holding the ears back, showing the whites of the eyes, staring, freezing, pacing, holding the tail up high and the fur on their back standing on end,” Dr Mornement said.

“Some of the more obvious signs are barking aggressively, growling, baring their teeth, lunging towards you and an absence of calm, relaxed and friendly behaviour.”

If you find yourself face-to-face with an angry dog, it might feel natural to maintain eye contact to try to read the dog. But that is exactly what you shouldn’t do.

Dr Mornement explained fearful dogs perceive staring as threatening. You also shouldn’t run or scream because this can trigger them to chase.

“Instead, try to remain still and calm and avoid eye contact,” she said.

“Remaining standing, still and quiet can help to diffuse the situation and hopefully the dog loses interest and moves away, allowing you to slowly back away and escape the situation before a full-blown attack.”

If it doesn’t back away, your best course of action is to get up high on top of something or place a barrier between you and the dog while you wait for help.

“If the dog has already attacked and you’ve fallen to the ground, try to be still and quiet (as hard as this might be) as yelling and fighting back may increase the intensity of the dog’s attack,” Dr Mornement warns.

“Curl into a ball and protect your face, head and neck with your arms until help arrives.”

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