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Guide Dog Users, Inc. Calls for a National Service Animal Protection Law

According to the organization, the escalating number of violent attacks against Service Animal teams is traumatic, devastating and costly.


Oakland, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/15/2013 -- The Guide Dog Users Inc. members, from across the country, are reporting a frightening and increasingly frequent incidence of attacks on their guide dogs by uncontrolled dogs they encounter on their routes through neighborhoods and city streets. Their guide dog's work has all too frequently been intentionally obstructed, says Guide Dog Users, Inc., President Laurie Mehta of Cincinnati, Ohio. She explains inadequate and inconsistent laws, far too often, prevent local law enforcement agencies from exercising the authority to view and treat these violent attacks as criminal acts. That is why the organization, announced today it will seek a National Service Animal Protection Law as a key component of its 2013 legislative agenda!

When Guide Dog Users Inc., conducted a survey of their members, 89% of the 119 respondents reported having experienced interference with their dogs, and 42% reported experiencing a full-blown attack against their guide dogs. Of those experiencing interference, nearly 51% were interfered with by the same dog more than once, 47% planned alternate routes to avoid known problem dogs, and almost 4% of the guide dogs who had been attacked had to retire from working altogether as a result of the trauma they experienced during an attack.

GDUI's Legislative Committee Chair, Don Brown, stated the organization’s intent is to have legislation with criminal penalties enacted, so pet owners will be motivated to exercise additional care to control their dogs when in public.

For more information, visit: http://gdui.org

About Guide Dog Users, Inc.
Founded in 1972, as an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), Guide Dog Users, Inc. is the largest advocacy organization for guide dog users in the United States and strives to promote civil rights and enhance the quality of life for working guide dog teams. Drawing on the experiences and varied knowledge of its members, GDUI provides peer support, advocacy and information to guide dog users in every region of the country.