Guide Dogs for the Blind have reported that there are at least seven attacks a month by dangerous and out of control dogs on their guide dogs. This is an increase in those suffering dog bites of over 100% since 2010. The charities chief executive, Richard Leaman, fears there have been even more attacks which have been unreported and is calling on police to do more. He and the charity are also asking that all dogs are microchipped so owners can be traced. Former Cabinet Minister David Blunkett was quoted in The Sun as saying: "An attack on any pet dog is frightening and upsetting, but for a guide dog owner it is even worse. While dog owners with good vision can act to avoid confrontation, if you are blind and have a guide dog you can't see to avoid potential confrontations with aggressive dogs in parks and other public spaces. An attack can lead to a vulnerable person being left stranded and frightened with an injured dog. If the guide dog needs treatment by a vet then its owner will be left without a lifeline for days or even weeks." Mr Blunkett supports the campaign for compulsory microchipping and feels owners should be face heavier prosecutions. He also believes the increase in attacks reflects the failure of other dog owners to train and control their dog. It costs £50,000 in donations to train a guide dog so there is a considerable loss to the charity when a dog is retired or withdrawn because of an attack.
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