Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Guide dog injured in Southampton street attack

Media captionPassers-by managed to pull the other dog off Vicki, who has only recently had surgery on her spine

A blind woman has been left shaken and afraid to go out after her guide dog was attacked by an unattended dog tied to a railings in Southampton.

Lyn Godwin was walking in Portswood on Thursday when it happened. Passers-by pulled the other dog away.

Her seven-year-old Labrador Vicki was left with minor cuts and bruises but has lost has her confidence to guide Ms Godwin and now needs retraining.

Ms Godwin now has to rely on friends to help her go out.

'Just horrendous'

She is hoping that Vicki, who was recovering from an operation on her spine at the time of the attack, will regain her confidence enough to be able to work again.

Describing the attack, Ms Godwin said: "As we got level with the dog, it lurched free of its lead and just came at us.

"Vicki was yelping and I was screaming for help. It was just horrendous."

A new law came in last month with tougher penalties, including up to three years in prison, for anyone whose dog attacks an assistance dog.

Hampshire Police said they were investigating the attack in Portswood High Street.

According to the charity Guide Dogs for the Blind, there are about 10 attacks on guide dogs every month in the UK

In total, 240 such attacks were reported between March 2011 and February 2013.

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