Petition after rise in guide dog attacks

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Rogers Guide dog Nevin which was attacked itself

Roger’s guide dog Nevin, which was attacked

A petition has been set up following a surge in guide dog attacks. The rate of attacks on guide dogs by other dogs has risen in the past year from three attacks a month to eight, according to Guide Dogs for the Blind.

This has prompted Anfield guide dog owner Roger Debman to set up a petition to raise awareness, with the aim of setting up a debate in Parliament about the issue. His own dog Nevin was attacked.

Mr Debman told JMU Journalism: “Having had a heart attack and stroke and being left partially-sighted, I am now a proud guide dog owner. I am helping to get more protection for guide dogs.”

He continued: “So far this month eight guide dogs have been attacked and is a major problem for me and others. Nevin is my lifeline.”

Other guide dog owners have also been scared to go out in the case of an attack on their animal, and in one case a blind man wanted to move house because of the response of the other dog owner, who gave the blind man verbal abuse.

Roger has so far had responses from London Mayor Boris Johnson and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Steven Greenhaigh. Both of them stated to Roger their commitment of “lobbying the government vigorously to bring in more stringent legislation to tackle the menace of dangerous and aggressive dogs”.

The measures they say they would like to include are muzzling, dogs being on a lead in public, exclusion from specified places; and attending dog training courses.

Roger told JMU Journalism: “Hopefully it can get all MPs talking and working together to act on this problem. This would mean I can step out on to council pavements feeling safe. Rather than having to worry if Nevin is going to be attacked. I might take this to Europe as it is affecting my human rights.”

You can sign the petiton here

About Eoghain Mc Kane, JMU Journalism