Alperton man demands crackdown after horror attack on guide dog
Labrador left with severe wounds after mauling
A man has hit out at laws against out-of-control dogs after his guide dog was savaged twice in two months.
Kevin Nugent, 34, of Beresford Avenue, Alperton, was walking his labrador guide dog, Orlando, close to his home on May 18 when a Staffordshire bull terrier attacked.
Orlando was left with deep cuts to the neck but recovered, only for another large dog to launch a separate attack just a few weeks later.
Mr Nugent said: “I was outside Sainsbury’s in Alperton when a big dog that had been lounging on the floor outside suddenly sprung up and grabbed Orlando’s back leg with its teeth.”
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The dog’s owner was in the shop and the injuries left Orlando needing operations from a vet.
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Mr Nugent wants a change in the law which does not currently treat these attacks as criminal offences, meaning that owners can often get away with these assaults.
He wrote to the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, asking for support in having the law changed to treat a dog attack on a guide dog in the same way as it treats an attack on a person.
Mr Nugent was invited to meet Stephen Greenhalgh, deputy mayor for policing, when he spoke of his concerns.
Mr Nugent said: “This was a horrific experience for both Orlando and I and it is frustrating that the law currently does not allow me to bring the person responsible for these attacks to justice.’’
Mr Greenhalgh said he was saddened to hear about the attacks on Orlando but that it had “reinforced” his conviction to lobby the government.
He said: “Such attacks should be seen as aggravated, as not only are they perpetrated against the guide dog but impact on people with a disability, and sentences should reflect this.”
Statistics from Guide Dogs for the Blind revealed that eight guide dogs a month are attacked across the UK, averaging at around one a month in London.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said it was aware of the growing problem regarding attacks on guide dogs and was taking advice from the public.