Action needed to halt attacks on guide dogs say Welwyn Garden City-based charity workers
PUBLISHED: 06:30 31 August 2012
ATTACKS on guide dogs by other dogs are a “growing problem” with eight such cases documented this year by charity workers based in Welwyn Garden City.
Figures collated by the Guide Dogs organisation average at eight per month nationally.
The Guide Dogs’ WGC team covers Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire and has recorded eight savage maulings within the three counties so far this year.
While shocking, the figures are lower than the national average.
The organisation now wants the government to introduce compulsory micro-chipping for all dogs, to help enforcement agencies police the “growing problem” and encourage “responsible dog ownership”.
It has also demanded tougher sentencing for owners of dangerous dogs.
David Cowdrey, Guide Dogs campaigns manager, said: “An attack on any dog is frightening, but for a guide dog owner it is much worse.
“With more than eight reported attacks on guide dogs a month, the trauma caused by these unprovoked attacks could leave a blind or partially sighted person a virtual prisoner in their own home.”
He added: “As well as physical injuries, each dog attack leaves a deep psychological scar for both the owner and the guide dog. In the worst cases guide dogs have to be retired early; in others they are left unable to work for a significant amount of time.”
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