A guide dog being attacked in West Norfolk has led to calls for owners to keep their pets under control.
Genene Henshaw feared her guide dog Susan was going to be “ripped to bits” after a loose pit bull terrier jumped on her black Labrador while they walking in Lynn’s Fairstead Estate on Thursday last week.
The pit bull’s owner managed to pull off the dog from Susan, who escaped from the ordeal without injury.
But Mrs Henshaw said: “She was very traumatised. by the attack.”
Guide Dogs for the Blind are reporting a worrying rise in the number of unprovoked dog attacks, with two seen in Lynn in recent months.
Calls are now being made to dog owners to keep their pets under control and on a lead as the majority of attacks were carried out by loose animals.
Mrs Henshaw said: “I honestly thought Susan was going to die. I was positive with the row that dog was making that Susan was going to be ripped to bits.
“I would ask dog owners to keep their pets on the lead if they see a guide dog owner coming along. Please be a bit more thoughtful.”
Mrs Henshaw and her son Christopher were walking along the paths near West Mark at 9.45pm on August 29.
The aggressive dog ran from a different pathway and jumped on Susan, who was wearing a harness and trained not to defend herself.
The owner, who was walking along the pathway with a group of men, took several seconds to catch up with the animal before dragging it off Susan.
This is the second time a dog has set upon Susan. Earlier in the year another dog attacked the animal while Mrs Henshaw was about to board a bus.
Guide Dogs for the Blind says these attacks can have a devastating effect on the owner and the dog.
Nationally, seven of the 183 dogs attacked between May 2010 and April 2012 were permanently withdrawn from service,costing the charity £202,000.
Community engagement officer for East Anglia, Helen Sismore, said the lifetime cost is £50,000 to train a guide dog, which may not want to go out again after being attacked.
She said: “Guide dog attacks is a big issue when dogs are off the lead in the high street or pedestrian area.
“I would urge people to keep them under control.”