Guide dog ‘at­tacked’ af­ter gar­den es­cape


AMAN whose guide dog was at­tacked by an es­caped dog is call­ing for own­ers to take more re­spon­si­bil­ity for their pets.

Mark Til­s­ley, 41, was walk­ing along Ch­ester Road un­der the guid­ance of his six-year-old Labrador Venice, when he says an­other dog rounded the cor­ner and at­tacked.

Mark, who is reg­is­tered blind, was caught in the cen­tre of the fra­cas, which he says in­volved both dogs push­ing and pulling him to­wards the busy road.

He said: “It was ter­ri­fy­ing. It’s bad enough your dog be­ing at­tacked but throw in the fact you can’t see and it be­comes even worse. When you can’t see you can’t an­tic­i­pate any­thing. I was walk­ing along and sud­denly there was all this bark­ing and ag­gres­sion. Venice couldn’t get any­where be­cause she’s at­tached to a har­ness and a lead, the two dogs were growl­ing and push­ing each other. I was get­ting pushed into the road, it was ex­tremely dan­ger­ous.”

It is thought the dog, which was not with its owner, had es­caped from a nearby gar­den be­fore the in­ci­dent on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 28.

Mark said a pass­ing cou­ple were able to sep­a­rate the dogs.

Mark, who is mar­ried to Lucy, said: “I don’t know what would have hap­pened if it wasn’t for them.

“It was very brave, I don’t know how many peo­ple would step in to sep­a­rate two dogs. I can’t thank them enough.”

Venice didn’t sus­tain any se­ri­ous phys­i­cal in­juries from the en­counter, but Mark said she has been men­tally af­fected, be­com­ing very un­easy around other dogs.

Mark, who has had Venice for just over two years, said: “She is a bril­liant dog.

“She gets me out and gives me my in­de­pen­dence, but it’s af­fected her work­ing, she’s far more ner­vous.

“If it had been any worse she would have to be re­tired be­cause she can’t do her job any more. It’s not like I could go out and buy a new one.”

Mark added: “Peo­ple need to re­mem­ber it’s not just about feed­ing and walk­ing when it comes to keep­ing dogs, you’ve got a re­spon­si­bil­ity all the time, even if it’s in your back gar­den. Hav­ing a dog out of con­trol is a very se­ri­ous of­fence.”

A po­lice spokesman con­firmed they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

She said: “Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a dog pos­si­bly at­tack­ing a guide dog on Ch­ester Road in Macclesfield on 28 Fe­bru­ary 2016 at around 11.30am.

“The dog is thought to have es­caped from an nearby ad­dress and ap­proached the as­sis­tance dog and his 41-yearold owner. Po­lice have spo­ken to all those in­volved and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cir­cum­stances is con­tin­u­ing.”

In March 2014, the An­ti­So­cial Be­hav­iour Crime and Polic­ing Act was passed which means that al­low­ing a dog to at­tack an as­sis­tance dog is to be treated as an ag­gra­vated of­fence which can have penal­ties in­clud­ing im­pris­on­ment.

●● Mark Til­s­ley, from Macclesfield, pic­tured with guide dog Venice

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