Increasing attacks on guide dogs leave "deep psychological scars" - charity


Dog AttackAccording to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (GDBA), over 8 attacks a month on guide dogs by other animals are the highest figures yet recorded.

The GBDA, which breeds and trains dogs for the blind and partially-sighted, said attacks on guide dogs are far worse than attacks on other dogs and can be highly distressing for their owners.

David Cowdrey, a campaign manager with GBDA, said every attack leaves both owners and their guide dogs with "deep psychological scars" alongside physical injuries.

"In the worst cases guide dogs have to be retired early," said Mr Cowdrey. "In others they are left unable to work for a significant amount of time."

Jemma Brown's guide dog Gus has been attacked 6 times. Ms Brown, of Southampton, said: "One of the worst attacks was outside a coffee shop on the high street.

"This dog came charging towards us. It pinned Gus to the floor and the dog's owners couldn't get the dog to let go, so they started punching it in the head. But they caught Gus a few times, too, and he was left concussed. He couldn't work for 3 weeks."

Although in April the government announced measures to crack down on dangerous dogs, critics claimed the proposals were inadequate. So to protect vulnerable animals and control aggressive dogs, GBDA has called for compulsory microchipping across the board.

Following a consultation on tackling the problem of attacks on guide dogs, a spokesperson for Defra said owners of dangerous dogs need to be targeted.

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