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Disabled woman's anger as guide dog attacked in Holywells Park

PUBLISHED: 11:03 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:03 27 June 2019

Labour councillor Kathryn Bole with her assistance dog Rex, who was attacked by an Alsatian in Holywells Park Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

Labour councillor Kathryn Bole with her assistance dog Rex, who was attacked by an Alsatian in Holywells Park Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

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A disabled woman has voiced her anger after her assistance dog was attacked by a German Shepherd in Ipswich's Holywells Park.

Mrs Boles has owned Rex for more than five years, who helps her pick up items and get dressed Picture: OLIVER SULLIVANMrs Boles has owned Rex for more than five years, who helps her pick up items and get dressed Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

Kathryn Bole, a Labour councillor and wheelchair user, relies on guide dog Rex for her independence.

Not only does the chocolate Labrador help Mrs Bole get dressed in the mornings, he also helps her with the washing machine and putting her washing out to dry.

But he was attacked by another dog when husband Simon took Rex for a walk off lead in Holywells Park on Thursday, June 20.

"Rex loves to have a run around," Mrs Bole said. "My husband sometimes takes him for walks when I'm in too much pain.

"But there was an Alsatian running off the lead that approached and snarled at him, before biting him on the backside."

This is the second time Rex has been attacked by a German Shepherd while out for a walk in the park.

"He is such a lovely boy - he keeps himself to himself," she added.

"But he keeps being mounted by other dogs and of course he is going to feel threatened.

"At one point things were happening so often that I carried a GoPro camera."

Dogs can be forced into retirement by attacks, with six-year-old guide dog Ally from Claydon retiring last year after being left nervous from six separate attacks.

"If he reacts, there is a chance he may be retired and that would be devastating for me.

"Not only does he help me physically, he also helps me emotionally. He has given me my confidence back and helps me live my life."

Mrs Bole added she would like to see more care for guide dogs and for less behaved dogs to remain on a lead.

By law, it is a criminal offence for a dog to attack a working guide dog - even if it does not cause harm.

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed they are investigating the incident, and asked for those with information to contact them on 101, quoting crime reference 37/36750/19.

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