Page last updated at 20:35 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Postman badly hurt in dog attack

Witness George Lunn and his father tried to distract the dogs

A postman has undergone a six-hour operation after being attacked by two rottweiler dogs while delivering mail.

Keith Davies "had his arm nearly ripped off" in the attack on Monday morning in Cambridge, according to his union.

Cambridgeshire Police said the dogs had been destroyed following the attack and an inquiry was under way.

Royal Mail said the 54-year-old postman was making "steady progress" in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and an "urgent investigation" had begun.

Mr Davies was savaged outside a property in Trumpington on the outskirts of Cambridge.

Bricklayer Anthony Lunn, 44, came to his aid fighting off the dogs with an iron bar.

Animal attacks

He said: "I ran over with an iron bar when my son told me a man was being attacked by a dog.

"When I approached the dogs, they both ran at me. I retreated back to my van and ran one of them over. But every time I got out of the van, the other dog came at me.

"I got on the phone to the ambulance and police, and kept revving the engine to distract the dog until it stopped mauling the postman.

"It eventually stopped, but after a long time. He was in a huge amount of agony.

"The police said we saved his life. But I only did what anyone else would have done."

Mr Davies, who was filling in for an injured colleague, was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital by air ambulance.

Dave Joyce, national health and safety officer for the Communication Workers Union, said a bricklayer had gone to Mr Davies' aid and "probably saved his life".

"He had his arm nearly ripped clean off," said Mr Joyce.

"He underwent six hours of surgery. He suffered nerve and tendon damage. He has a great big hole in his arm. We don't know whether they are going to save his arm.

"Mr Davies and his family are traumatised. We don't know what long-term psychological damage he will suffer."

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "Thankfully, he is making steady progress in hospital today, however we are, of course, shocked by this incident and are urgently investigating what happened.

"Regrettably, dog attacks are a hazard faced by our employees - we record about 5,000 animal attacks on our postmen and women a year, with the vast majority being dogs."

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