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  1. ITV Report

Attacks on guide dogs reach record high

Attacks on guide dogs - by other dogs - are at an all-time high in this region.

In the last 11 months alone, there have been 148 incidents across the country - including six in the East.

It has prompted a plea from guide dog owners for others to keep proper control over the pets.

Yad Necel and Dennis, from Cambridgeshire, are inseparable. Having a guide dog means she can get out of the house without relying on other people.

Dennis helps Yad get to work. But when her last dog was attacked by three other dogs who escaped from a work van in Cambridge, Yad was left on her own for a couple of months.

Although

Yad and Dennis are inseparable. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"Having had that sort of attack, and having limited vision, it makes you fearful of every occasion when you're out and about. You don't know what's going to happen to your dog or yourself.

"I wouldn't go out without a dog, unless I was with someone else. If you don't have your dog working, it restricts everything you do in your life."

– Yad Necel, guide dog owner.

Paul Johnson has only recently decided to get another guide dog.

His last one was attacked five times by street dogs who were not kept under control by their owners.

The animal was so badly affected, he had to be retired.

"I didn't leave the house for over a month after the last attack. My confidence was shattered.

"You rely on them so much and they give you so much confidence - the ability to go somewhere without even having to think about it."

– Paul Johnson, guide dog owner and campaigner.
Dennis the guide dog is a lifeline for his owner. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Watch Helen Keenan's report.