'I've got kids – I would not have the dog if he was dangerous'
AS Donna Green's children smother their pet Chunk with hugs and kisses it's hard to believe the dog could ever be aggressive.
But since February 9, all postal deliveries to her street, Spruce Gardens, have been stopped after postmen became too scared to walk down it.
The Royal Mail says it had no choice but to suspend deliveries after a number of "near misses" involving the dog.
The company said the decision was taken after repeated requests to the owners to keep the dog under control, which were ignored.
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But Ms Green yesterday insisted her dog was safe and that she could not understand what the fuss was about.
The street was empty when the Post visited yesterday. The garden gate to Ms Green's house was open – but Chunk was locked inside the house where he was playing with her children.
Ms Green said: "We've been down to the Royal Mail and spoken to them, and we've put a post box up on the fence.
"There was never a problem with the dog in the first place. He looks big but he isn't going to do anything to anybody.
"People who have dogs know they will come to the window and bark at postmen.
"I've got kids – I would not have the dog with them if he was dangerous."
She added the Royal Mail had also asked if she could block off part of the garden for Chunk – which she plans to do with chicken wire.
Other residents in the street say the situation has caused a lot of inconvenience.
They say that a few weeks before they were told about the suspension of post, mail was only being delivered once a week – on a Friday or Saturday.
When a postman delivered the letters explaining they were suspending all deliveries, on Saturday, February 9, they claim there was no mail posted with them.
Kathleen Flinders has had to ask neighbours to help collect her mail.
Mrs Flinders, 58, said: "It's quite difficult for us because my husband has just had a knee operation so he can't drive at the moment and we've had to ask a neighbour to help us out.
"My husband had the operation done privately and this is delaying the bills for that. It's very unfair we are being penalised for someone else's dog."
A 55-year-old woman, who asked not to be named, also lives in the street.
She said: "It's getting to a lot of people. I've got a car so I can go and fetch my post fairly easily, but I did nearly miss a letter about a hospital appointment.
"When they said a dog was roaming I was surprised because I've never seen one."
Royal Mail spokeswoman Morag Turnbull apologised for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of deliveries.
She said: "The regular postman has on many occasions been unable to deliver the mail as an aggressive dog is being allowed to roam free in the area.
"Deliveries had already been suspended to the address where the dog lives and we have asked the owners to keep the dog under control so that the postman can complete his round safely.
"Unfortunately, this hasn't happened.
"Following a number of near misses and a risk assessment of the area, we have had to temporarily suspend deliveries to these properties as a precautionary measure.
"We have written to those customers affected and we are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause."
She added: "The safety and welfare of our staff is paramount and we only suspend deliveries if the safety of our postmen and women is at risk and as a last resort.
"Over 3,000 postmen and women are attacked by dogs each year and we encourage the public to take responsibility for keeping their pets under control so that we can deliver the mail safely."