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