HEYSHOTT-based charity Canine Partners has backed new government moves to protect assistance dogs and their owners.
An amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it an offence to own or be in charge of a dog that attacks an assistance dog. An attack will now be treated as an ‘aggravated offence’ with a maximum penalty of three years’ in prison or an unlimited fine or both.
A Canine Partners spokesman said: “This change to the law recognises the serious detrimental effect of an attack, on the disabled person if the dog is unable to carry out its duties either temporarily or even permanently, leaving its owner without the everyday support upon which they have come to rely.
“These dogs take up to two years to train fully, costing many thousands of pounds, an early retirement as a result of a dog attack has a significant financial impact.”