Guide dogs are trained to be passive, making them particularly vulnerable when attacked by other dogs. They can’t be treated like other dogs, nor can the owner of the guide dog be treated like the average dog-walker by virtue of the disability justifying the need for the specially trained dog.
Increasingly, guide dogs are attacked by larger dangerous dogs, according to the guide dogs charity Guide Dogs for the Blind, which has urged the government to provide better protection to walkers with partial or limited sight, who are powerless and traumatised when this sort of incident happens. The charity knows of 240 guide dog attacks over the past two years and for Guide Dogs’ Chief Executive Richard Leaman “a change in the law cannot come quickly enough.”
The ordinary dog walker will always intervene to protect their own dog during an attack – it’s the most natural thing to do when man’s best friend is being mauled by another with the result of nasty injuries to owner and dog, and the potential risk of rabies. Often the attacking dog is larger, aggressive and, more likely than not, free to roam with its owner some distance away or unable to exert any control over what is happening.
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill contains proposals to amend the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and it is hoped that this will tackle irresponsible dog owners and improve public safety making it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place, including private property.
The plan is that dog owners will be held responsible regardless of the breed of dog if an attack takes place in the home. This will afford protection to those who are delivering goods to private properties, such postmen and those visiting, such as healthcare professional and utility personnel.
A dog bite can be devastating with long-lasting scarring from puncture wounds, which carry a high risk of infection. Physical injuries and psychological trauma can be permanent.
Over the years, we have a helped a significant number of people recover substantial compensation from these types of injuries with the help of medical experts. We have a specialist team well-experienced in claims for personal injury compensation arising out of dog attacks and other such incidents who will guide you all the way. If you have a claim that requires specialist advice, contact our specialist Animals Act Team or call Elaine Snell on 0117 904 6326 or email [email protected]