Sep 20 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
nungent with orlando guide dog
A BRAVE guide dog who has survived two brutal attacks was taken by his owner for an important meeting at City Hall.
Orlando was mauled by a pit-bull type dog in separate incidents in May and June, sustaining serious injuries which meant his owner, Kevin Nugent, couldn’t go out or go to work while his guide recovered.
Mr Nugent, of Beresford Avenue, Wembley, has asked London Mayor Boris Johnson for his support in tackling the issue of dangerous dogs. He is calling for the law to be changed to treat a dog attack on a guide dog the same as a dog attack on a person.
Mr Nugent said: “This was a horrific experience for both Orlando and I and it is frustrating that the law currently does not allow me to bring the person responsible for these attacks to justice.
“The owner and their dog continues to walk around my residential area posing a threat to me, Orlando and others.”
Orlando was taken by Mr Nugent, an IT tutor, to meet with London’s deputy mayor for policing and crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, on Thursday last week.
Mr Greenhalgh said: “Both the Mayor and I were saddened and appalled to hear about the injuries that Orlando received during two separate attacks by other dogs.
“It has reinforced both my conviction and that of the Mayor of London that we have a duty to continue to lobby the government vigorously to bring in more stringent legislation to tackle the menace of dangerous and aggressive dogs.
“Such attacks should be seen as aggravated, as not only are they perpetrated against the guide dog but impact against people with a disability and sentences should reflect this.”
Thanks to veterinary care, the four-year-old golden retriever cross has recovered and is back at work helping his owner.
Mr Nugent added: “The meeting today was very positive. I am pleased that both Stephen Greenhalgh and the Mayor are taking this issue seriously and I look forward to hearing about the results that I hope will come from their lobbying.”
Eight guide dogs a month are attacked across the country and can have huge implications for people who rely on a dog in their daily life.
n What do you think about the laws on dog attacks? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.