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Incidence and impact of dog attacks on guide dogs in the UK: an update

By R. Moxon, H. Whiteside, G. C. W. England

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Abstract

Data on dog attacks on Guide Dogs' stock were reviewed to investigate the characteristics of the attacks. An average of 11.2 attacks occurred each month. Nearly all of the attacks occurred in public areas, 68.4 per cent of victim dogs were qualified guide dogs and 55.5 per cent of victim dogs were working in harness when they were attacked. Guide Dogs' stock were injured in 43.2 per cent of attacks and veterinary costs for attacks were estimated at 34,514.30. Over 40 per cent of qualified guide dogs' working ability was affected and >20 per cent of qualified guide dogs required some time off from working after a dog attack. Twenty dogs were permanently withdrawn from the Guide Dogs' programme as a result of dog attacks, 13 of which were qualified and working with guide dog owners at the time of the withdrawal; this resulted in a financial cost of >600,000 to the charity. More importantly perhaps, temporary and permanent withdrawals have a significant impact upon the mobility and independence of guide dog owners and in many cases significantly impacted their emotional well-being.

Publication Title Veterinary Record
Volume 178
Issue 15
Pages 367
ISBN/ISSN 0042-4900
DOI 10.1136/vr.103433
Author Address Guide Dogs Breeding Centre, Banbury Road, Leamington Spa CV33 9QJ, UK.rachel.moxon@guidedogs.org.uk
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Aggression
  2. Aggressive behavior
  3. Analytics
  4. Animal behavior
  5. Animals
  6. Behavioral research
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Bites and stings
  9. British Isles
  10. Canidae
  11. Canine
  12. Carnivores
  13. Commonwealth
  14. Countries
  15. Developed countries
  16. Diseases and injuries of animals
  17. Dogs
  18. Draft animals
  19. Europe
  20. Guide dogs
  21. Mammals
  22. OECD countries
  23. open access
  24. Pets and companion animals
  25. United Kingdom
  26. vertebrates
  27. Working animals
  28. Zoology
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  1. open access