Blind at risk as guide dogs attacked across Scotland

GUIDE dogs are being attacked in record numbers in Scotland in unprovoked and “devastating” assaults by dangerous 

Blind people have been left housebound and at risk because their companions have been severely hurt by out-of-control dogs.

New figures from Guide Dogs Scotland show the number of reported attacks on Guide Dogs has risen from three to eight per month in the past two years, but the actual number could be much higher.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Irresponsible owners have been blamed for letting their dangerous dogs loose, resulting in several working puppies having to be retired at a cost of more than £136,000 to the Guide Dogs charity.

One dog owner, Barbara McDermid, 51, who has been blind for 27 years, said her guide dog had to be retired and re-homed after an attack by an Alsatian.

She said: “The dog was off its lead and the owner was drunk. The dog went for me but Chester stepped in front. He was bitten in the neck.

“Any time he went out on the harness after that he tried to attack any dogs he saw. It wasn’t safe for either of us so he had to be re-homed.”

Guide dog owner Scott Cunningham, who recently won the UK’s inspirational guide dog owner award and was given an MBE for his charity work, said he worried that a dangerous dog could target him.

He said: “They’re just a status symbol for their lunatic owners and I’d be housebound if they attacked him. All dogs should be micro-chipped so their owners are traceable.”