Saturday, December 17, 2016

United Kingdom: Blind woman’s terror as her guide dog was savaged by out-of-control Bull Mastiff as they waited for a bus

UNITED KINGDOM -- A blind woman has spoken of her horror after her guide dog was savaged by an out-on-control Bull Mastiff as they waited for at a bus stop.

Jacqui Wilkins said she could only listen in terror as her black Labrador George yelped in agony as he was repeatedly mauled by the crazed dog.

The 54-year-old had been standing at a bus stop in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., when the devil dog attacked at around 5.30pm on Wednesday.

George was repeatedly bitten on the side and back during the terrifying ordeal, which lasted 10 minutes.

Two-year-old George will now have to be rested for two weeks after having a large puncture wound stitched up.

It means social worker Jacqui, from Bradeley, Stoke-on-Trent, will struggle to leave the house during that time.

She said: “I left work at 5pm and was waiting for the bus when all of a sudden George was pulled back and dragged away from me.

“I could hear him screaming. A man was trying to get a dog off George. The dog had a hold of the side of George’s body. I was very distressed. I was trying to comfort George. The people around me were shouting at the other dog owner to get his dog away.”

The Bull Mastiff’s owner eventually managed to pry the animal’s jaws off George before police arrived and escorted Jacqui and her guide dog home.

But the next morning George could barely stand and had been licking his side so Jacqui took him to Warrendale Veterinary Care Centre.

George needed to be sedated, clipped and the wound cleaned and treated. He now has to wear an inflatable collar around his neck to stop him licking himself until it heals.

Jacqui, who has had George for five-and-a-half months, said: “He’s the centre of my universe. He helps me get in and out of the house and keeps me safe.

"To not have him working with me for two weeks is awful. When the attack was happening I feared for the worst. It was a traumatic experience.”

Vet Richard Conlon said George was making a good recovery following the attack.

He said: “George is a very mild mannered dog and has taken it in his stride. He had some grab wounds and a puncture wound in his size.

“Superficially it was the size of a 50p coin but underneath there was a deeper space of tissue that was damaged. The wound was disinfected and it was stapled.”

A spokesman for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association said: “Attacks on guide dogs are extremely distressing for their owners.

“Not only is the attack itself traumatic, but while the dog is injured or if they cannot work again, then their owner may find it impossible to leave home on their own. Even if the dog is OK physically, the psychological impact can be devastating and can result in the dog being retired prematurely.

“We ask that all dog owners keep their dogs on a lead and under control when near an assistance dog. They are working, concentrating hard and should not be distracted, even by another dog. All of these attacks could be avoided.”

A Staffordshire Police spokesman added: “We received a call reporting a guide dog being bitten by another. The incident happened when the guide dog, a black Labrador, was waiting with his owner at a bus stop in Church Street and was attacked by a Bull Mastiff who was being walked by his owner.

“The Labrador was taken to the vet for treatment to puncture wounds but did not require any surgery. An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.”

(The Sun UK - Dec 17, 2016)

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