Dog attacks on guide dogs doubles
Attacks on guide dogs by other dogs have more than doubled, according to a new report.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association said there are, on average, more than seven attacks on guide dogs each month by other canines.
The figure is more than double last year when a previous study, published in June 2010, showing an average of three attacks per month.
Charity officials have urged police to take attacks more seriously and called for the compulsory microchipping of all dogs in England and Wales.
The report found bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers and pit bull terriers were among the most frequent offenders, with around one in three dogs carrying out attacks from this bull breed group.
In more than nine out of ten cases, attacks took place in public places such as parks, town centres and shopping areas.
The charity said chief executive Richard Leaman wrote to all chief constables in June last year asking them to help safeguard guide dog owners against attacks, but it said too many owners are still worried police take no action after an attack.
Mr Leaman said: "We recognise that police forces are under pressure but these attacks are anti-social and have a devastating effect on vulnerable people.
"We want police to recognise the enormous impact that these attacks have on people's ability to live independently and respond accordingly."
The charity said one owner who was a victim of an attack reported wanting to move house afterwards while others said they were left too frightened to go out. Many people said they were left upset, angry or shaken.