Guide dog attacked in Belmont

A BLIND man whose guide dog was attacked by an off leash dog has pleaded with pet owners to take greater care of their pets.

Ian Waller’s dog Banjo was attacked on Monday while the pair were walking through Belmont mall.

Banjo was not severely injured but came out of the incident bruised and shaken.

Guide Dogs NSW is concerned about how the attack might impact Banjo’s ability to continue working.

Mr Waller was also traumatised by the incident and said he wanted to publicly thank passers-by who came to his aid.

Attacks from off-lead pet dogs is a leading cause of guide dogs being prematurely reitred.

It comes at a large personal cost to the owner and a $30,000 loss for Guide Dogs NSW.

Over the past year there have been 11 attacks from off-lead pet dogs on guide dogs in NSW and the ACT.

It includes five in Sydney, four in central-western NSW, one in Queanbeyan and one on the north coast.

Sally Edgar from Guide Dogs NSW said a survey of guide dog owners found that between 2009 and 2010 nine out 10 clients said their guide dog had been harassed or distracted by off-lead pet dogs.

‘‘If you extended this issue to include guide dogs being distracted or harassed by off-lead or uncontrolled pet dogs this would be much greater," she said.

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