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Second guide dog attacked in a number of weeks in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:55 20 March 2018

Bowler was attacked last Thursday.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bowler was attacked last Thursday. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

“It’s not just an attack on your dog. It’s an attack on your independence.”

Kevin Ross playing with Bowler who was attacked in Ipswich town centre. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNKevin Ross playing with Bowler who was attacked in Ipswich town centre. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Kevin Ross was walking back from blind theatre group, Unscene Suffolk, last Thursday and had reached the Buttermarket in the centre of Ipswich when Bowler was attacked at about 5.50pm.

Another dog had jumped on the back of Bowler and had become entangled in his harness.

“In a flash all I could hear was a blood curdling growl,” said Mr Ross, “it all happened so quickly.”

“I was screaming to get the other dog off.”

Mr Ross said he was lucky that people quickly came to his aid.

Bowler was not physically harmed in the attack but the whole business has left Mr Ross feeling nervous about returning to Ipswich town centre.

This latest attack comes only weeks after a guide dog from Claydon was forced to retire after being attacked multiple times.

Simon Daws, from Suffolk Guide Dog Forum, said that the community locally had been greatly concerned by these attacks and were worried about the safety of dogs locally.

“It’s not just an attack on your dog, said Mr Daws. “It’s an attack on your independence.”

He added that it had got to the point where one member who had been waiting for a guide dog had considered retracting her application based on the safety issues.

A spokesman from Suffolk police said the matter was being currently being investigated.

Those with any information about the attack should call Suffolk police on 101 quoting CAD 342 of 15/3.

Helen Sismore, engagement officer at East Anglia Guide Dogs, said: “Since 2011 when we started to record dog attacks they have increased from eight to 13 on average per month.

“This is the second attack we have had recently in Ipswich, we are stopping people from getting out and about independently”. “We ask the public to be considerate of all people within their community and ensure their dogs are properly socialised with other dogs and are under control at all times whether they are on or off lead”

“We have raised this issue with Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore and work tirelessly with the police dog legislation officer Emma Grosvenor. We need witnesses to come forward and provide information on the attack.”

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