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Guide dog attacked by another dog in Magdalen Street, Norwich

Guide Dogs for the Blind logo

Guide Dogs for the Blind logo

Archant

A guide dog suffered a deep cut under her eye and needed antibiotics after she was “savaged” by another dog in Norwich yesterdaymorning.

The guide dog was with its blind owner when it was attacked by a Staffie-type dog outside one of the two Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind shops in Magdalen Street at about 10.30am.

The incident has prompted calls for compulsory microchipping for all dogs in England to encourage responsible dog ownership and help reduce the number of attacks on guide dogs.

Philip Hunter, a volunteer at the shop, said: “A blind man and his guide dog were walking along Magdalen Street, when this other dog, a Staffie-type animal, just went for the guide dog and savaged it. We all came running out of the shop. The owner of the dog eventually pulled it off the guide dog and put it on a leash. But the guide dog suffered a nasty gash under its eye. I don’t know if it will be able to work again as a guide dog. There were a lot of witnesses to what happened.”

John Child, director at the NNAB, based in nearby Magpie Road, said: “This sort of thing should not happen. Dogs should be kept under control. It also gives dogs such as Staffies a bad name.

“Also, guide dogs are by nature very gentle, and this kind of thing can upset them. It was very upsetting for both guide dog and owner.”

The owner of the guide dog, who is from the Norwich area, did not wish to comment.

David Cowdrey, Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs for the Blind, said: “We want to see compulsory microchipping for all dogs in England to encourage responsible dog ownership and help reduce the number of attacks on guide dogs. “When a guide dog is attacked, it’s a traumatic experience for the guide dog owner and can stop them getting out and about on their own. In the worst cases, the guide dog has to be retired, which is not only distressing for the guide dog owner but it is also costly for the charity. A guide dog costs around £50,000 to breed, train and support.”

The matter is believed to have been reported to the police, but a spokesman said the force had not been informed of the incident by the time we went to press.

Have you been the recent victim of a dog attack in Norwich or has your guide dog or pet been attacked? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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