A POSTMAN had part of his finger bitten off by a dog while delivering letters in Burnley.
Ian Dawe (40) had posted an envelope through a letter box in Burnley Wood when the Bull Mastiff-type dog attacked.
The animal sank its teeth in right down to the bone and ripped the end of his finger clean off.
Doctors managed to save his finger from amputation but Ian has been forced off work for eight weeks and may not regain full use of his hand.
The father-of-two, who has worked for the Royal Mail for nearly six years, was delivering post to an address in Parkinson Street on Friday, January 4th.
He said: “I was just going about my duties normally. I pushed the letter through and it clamped onto my finger straight away.
“It was instantaneous. I knew if I tried to pull my finger out it would have ripped the whole thing off.
“It had bitten in and got right down to the bone. I was screaming and it bit through my finger and I pulled it out.”
Police officers, who had coincidentally been on the same street seizing a Pitbull-type dog from a different address, rushed over to him and called an ambulance.
“We know about the dogs up there. With being a postman it is part of the territory. But it was one of those things – I think anybody posting letters through the door that day would have got it.
“Something really needs doing. Next time it could be a child or a pensioner.
“People send kids out posting flyers – if a child posts through the door they could lose a hand.”
Dog attacks on postmen have fallen 29% in East Lancashire – but there were still 22 attacks recorded on Royal Mail staff between April 2011 and April 2012.
Nigel Smith, Burnley Delivery Office manager, said it was vital to ensure the welfare and safety of postmen delivering to customers in Burnley.
He said: “Ian has suffered a terrible injury as a result of this attack and it will be many weeks before he is able to return to work.
“We appeal to owners to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature.”
Dave Joyce, CWU National Health and Safety Officer, said: “The age old image of the dog attacking the postman is not a laughing matter. Thousands of our members are bitten every year and hundreds suffer debilitating injuries every year which leave them with physical and psychological scarring, some with life changing disabilities and all in the course of doing their job.”