Why we're campaigning
Sadly, every year we hear of more than 100 guide dogs being attacked by other dogs. Attacks on guide dogs are extremely distressing for their owners. Not only is the attack itself traumatic, but if the dog has to stop working, then their owner may find it impossible to leave home on their own.
What we have achieved
We successfully campaigned for measures to bring an end to attacks on guide dogs through encouraging responsible dog ownership, compulsory microchipping of dogs, and the introduction of tougher sanctions for the owners of dogs that attack a guide dog.
As a result of Guide Dogs’ Dog Attacks campaign in March 2014, the Government passed the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. This Act covers England and Wales. It reclassifies a dog attack on an assistance dog as an aggravated offence, and penalties include up to three years’ imprisonment. This law came into force in May 2015, and the Sentencing Council has published guidance to support magistrates in sentencing people found guilty of this offence.
In May 2014, The Scottish Parliament introduced a measure which is equivalent to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act was already in place which empowered dog wardens to be able to issue Dog Control Notices to try and curb anti-social behaviour from dogs. We are currently monitoring the impact of these laws.
To promote responsible dog ownership, Guide Dogs, as part of the Microchipping Alliance, successfully campaigned for all dogs to be microchipped. Since April 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales are now legally required to have been chipped by the time they are eight weeks old. A law has been in place in Northern Ireland since 2012. Dog owners who have not had their pets microchipped could face a fine of up to £500.
We’d love to hear from you!
c/o London Community Team, 7 Manor Road, Woodford, Woodford Green, IG8 8ER
The time to make change is now. Are you with us?