Stowmarket: Experienced guide dog worker calls for tougher rules to curb dangerous dogs
PUBLISHED: 12:47 24 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:50 24 May 2013
A woman has called for tougher rules to curb dangerous dogs after seeing a guide dog attacked.
Sandra Waspe, of Stowmarket, has been working with guide dogs for more than 40 years and said owners of dangerous dogs should go on courses to learn how to handle their pet.
She is a speaker and co-ordinator for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and said she had witnessed several dog attacks over the years.
“We definitely need more control of dogs,” Mrs Waspe said.
“I think there should be courses for dangerous dogs which the owner goes on – something similar to an educational driving course.
“Thinking about the broader picture it’s not just guide dogs which have been attacked there have been children killed because of dog attacks.”
She said her husband Graham’s former guide dog Edward had been attacked and there had been numerous cases where she had seen of out of control dogs running loose.
The Government has announced plans to make microchipping compulsory for dogs. Proposals have also been outlined to make the offence of being in charge of a dangerous dog extended to private property.
The Communication Workers’ Union, which represents postmen and women and telecoms engineers who suffer about 5,000 dog attacks each year.
A recent Freedom of Information request revealed the number of dangerous dog attacks in Suffolk had doubled in four years.
Almost 530 offences relating to dogs were reported to police since 2008.
Incidents have increased from 73 in 2008 to 132 last year, and as of the beginning of March, 21 dangerous dog offences have been reported this year. Over the past four years more than 70 people have been admitted to Ipswich Hospital after being bitten or injured by a dog.
The RSPCA has called for an urgent reform of dog control measures.