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Tougher penalties proposed for attacks on guide dogs

29 Oct 2013

Norman, a guide dog that was attacked whilst guidingIrresponsible dog owners whose dogs attack guide dogs could face up to three years in prison under plans announced today.

The government is proposing to increase the maximum penalties for owners whose dogs attack assistance dogs following a consultation this summer.

Guide Dogs Chief Executive Richard Leaman said: "Guide Dogs has long campaigned for tougher sanctions against irresponsible dog owners whose dogs attack guide dogs. It's clear that the vast majority of respondents to this survey agree and we are pleased the Government is listening - though we would have liked to see a longer maximum sentence for a crime of this brutality"

“An attack on a guide dog is devastating and can rob someone who is blind or partially sighted of their means of getting out and about independently and with confidence. In some cases, a guide dog has to be permanently withdrawn from service after an attack, leaving the owner bereft and often traumatized. This is also costly for us as a charity. Each guide dog costs £50,000 to breed, train and support during its working life and we receive no government funding to provide this life-changing service."

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