Guide dog attacked by ‘violent’ Staffie


A BLIND man is calling for owners to keep their animals under control after a Staffordshire bull terrier tried to attack his guide dog.

Andrew Watts, 32, was out walking in Holderness Road, east Hull, when the animal went for his dog Yaris.

Guide dog attack

FEARFUL: Andrew Watts with his guide dog, Yaris. Picture: Jack Harland

It left both owner and animal badly shaken.

Mr Watts, who suffers from a degenerative eyesight condition, said: “I was walking along and two staffies leapt out at me.

“They frightened my guide dog. One of the staffies got off its lead and it was going for my guide dog’s throat.

“The violence in that dog was unbelievable.”

Witnesses told Mr Watts how the Staffordshire bull terriers were being looked after by a girl while their owner was inside a nearby shop.

Mr Watts, who lives in east Hull, said the dogs were too strong for the child to hold back.

It even took the owner several minutes to get it back on the lead and away from Yaris.

Mr Watts said: “The girl tried to control the dog but it got away.

“I lifted Yaris up so the dogs couldn’t go for the throat.

“Then the owner came out and controlled the dog.”

Yaris, a Labrador cross, was not injured, but is now much more cautious when guiding his owner around.

Mr Watts, who is registered blind, says he relies on his dog every day and is concerned for the animal’s welfare.

He said: “It’s made my guide dog a bit nervous taking me out.

“After what I’ve experienced, it’s made me a bit fearful.

“That dog wanted blood. Luckily, my guide dog was double the size of it.”

This is not the first time concerns have been raised about the breed.

Caretaker Steve Mullenger was attacked on Good Friday by a Staffordshire bull terrier cross as he worked at Tickton School.

He needed four stitches after the loose dog sank its teeth into his wrist.

At the time, Mr Mullenger, 52, said: “If there had been children around when it was there, they wouldn’t have stood a chance.”

Mr Watts said owners have a responsibility to protect other people, particularly if their animals have a history of bad behaviour.

He said: “You would have thought the owner would know the Staffies didn’t like other dogs. If you’re going to bring dogs out and they’re going to go for other dogs, you should make sure the collar is tight and put a muzzle on.

“I wasn’t bothered about myself but I had to protect my guide dog.”

Hull City Council urged people to inform them of any problems involving dogs.

Principal environmental health officer Emma Tindall said: “We would advise anyone who encounters a dog-on-dog attack to report it to the dog wardens at Hull City Council.

“If deemed appropriate, owners can be prosecuted under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

“We investigate all reports and they are logged with us”.

A police spokesman said: “We encourage people to be responsible when out walking their dogs.”

To report problems involving dogs to the council, call 01482 300300.

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