The Government in Westminster has announced plans to introduce compulsory microchipping of all dogs in England by April 2016. This will help keep future guide dogs safe to continue their life changing work.
Dog attacks are of great concern to Guide Dogs and to guide dog owners. The number of guide dog owners who are reporting dog attacks on their dogs is increasing. Our latest research shows the number of reported attacks on guide dogs has risen from three a month to over eight dog attacks a month within a 24 month period from June 2010 to May 2012.
In most cases the cause of the attack was unprovoked, and the aggressor dog was uncontrolled and off the lead.
Guide Dogs backs compulsory microchipping, but wants proposals to go further. Readto the Government's proposals about microchipping.
The impact on guide dog owners and guide dogs
Dog attacks can have a devastating impact on both the people and dogs involved. Three guide dogs have been permanently withdrawn, and two others are currently being assessed to see if they are able to continue working. The other major impact is that blind and partially sighted people are left without a guide dog, their mobility aid, and become housebound until they can be matched with a suitable dog.
Some guide dog owners have been left too frightened to go out as a result of an attack. One guide dog owner wanted to move house due to the response of the owners of the attacking dog, who in some cases used verbal abuse against blind and partially sighted people. Some appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs, and in one case, the owner of an aggressive dog laughed at a guide dog owner during an attack on his guide dog.