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Guide Dogs backs public survey on dog attacks

06 Aug 2013

Guide Dogs today backs a survey on tougher penalties for irresponsible dog owners.

Launched by DEFRA, the survey will ask members of the public for their views on the maximum penalty a dog owner should face if their dog attacks an assistance dog.

Guide Dogs Chief Executive Richard Leaman said: "It’s almost impossible to imagine the devastating effect an attack on a guide dog can have on someone with sight loss.

“Not only do they face being completely robbed of their means of getting out and about independently, they also face the huge emotional impact that any dog owner encounters when their beloved friend is injured – only a far more extreme version. The punishment for irresponsible dog owners should reflect the immense turmoil and anguish these attacks cause our guide dog owners, and all assistance dog owners.

“We welcome any measures that will treat attacks on guide dogs more seriously and we are pleased that the Government is asking for views on this issue.”

A report published by Guide Dogs in June this year revealed that attacks by other dogs on guide dogs are at an all-time high of ten-a-month. A total of 240 dog attacks on guide dogs were reported between March 2011 and February 2013. Five guide dogs have had to be withdrawn from service in the last two years as a result of attacks by other dogs.


Find out more

Find out more by visiting the Dog Attacks pages of the website.

“There must be better protection for guide and other assistance dogs and we will be taking a detailed look at the survey and responding in due course.”

- Richard Leaman, Guide Dogs CEO