Police join with Guide Dogs for the Blind to crack down on attacks to guide dogs

Attacking guide dogs is now an offence

Attacking guide dogs is now an offence - Credit: Archant

A new offence for attacks on guide dogs has been created, and police are urging people to report if their guide dog has been targetted.

Under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, it is an offence to allow a dog to attack an assistance dog, and will carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

Suffolk police have joined together with Guide Dogs for the Blind to investigate any such attacks.

Deputy chief constable Gareth Wilson said: “Attacks on assistance dogs have terrible consequences for both the dog and its owner. It’s important that such attacks are reported to us so that we can investigate them and prevent any similar incidents from happening.”

Chief executive of Guide Dogs, Richard Leaman, added: “When a guide or assistance dog is attacked, the consequences for its owner are devastating. Our guide dog owners rely on their guide dogs to get around and if a dog can’t work, their owner can be left housebound. But once the physical wounds have healed, a dog attack can also have a dramatic effect on both a guide dog and its owner’s confidence.”

On average, 10 guide dogs per month are attacked by other dogs in the UK.

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