Guide dog attack prompts Staffordshire Bull terrier ban plea

Carlton the dog Carlton escaped serious injury because of his guide dog harness

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A blind man has called for Staffordshire bull terriers to be recognised as dangerous dogs after his guide dog was attacked in Liverpool.

Jim Moran, 65, was with his guide dog Carlton when it was attacked by a stray bull terrier outside Broughton Hall School in West Derby.

Despite being completely blind, Mr Moran managed to get hold of the dog's collar and pull it clear, on Tuesday.

Merseyside Police said enquiries were being made to find the dog's owner.

Mr Moran and Carlton had only been together for three weeks when the bull terrier attacked the Labrador, trying to bite its neck.

He said that, fortunately, Carlton escaped serious injury because of his guide dog harness.

Start Quote

I was frightened and panicking that I didn't know how to get this bull terrier away”

End Quote Jim Moran Guide dog owner

"Because I'm blind, I didn't know if anyone was going to come to help," he said.

"I was frightened and panicking that I didn't know how to get this bull terrier away."

The animal was dragged off by the school caretaker before it was taken away and placed in the city pound by a dog warden.

The 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act bans four types of fighting dog including the pit bull terrier, but the Staffordshire bull terrier is not one of them.

"They are quite aggressive, vicious dogs and should be on the list," Mr Moran said.

"The law obviously needs to be changed so if a guide dog is attacked the owner can be held accountable."

'Traumatic experience'

According to Guide Dogs for the Blind, there were an average of seven attacks on guide dogs in UK per month between May 2010 and June 2011.

Nick Mullineux, a manager at the charity's Liverpool branch, said that in the worst cases, guide dogs have to be retired.

"Although Jim is a very experienced guide dog owner, attacks like these are a traumatic experience," he said

"This is really distressing for the guide dog owner but it is also costly for us: a guide dog costs around £50,000 to breed, train and support.

"Hopefully Jim and Carlton can now complete their training and go on to become a fantastic partnership."

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