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Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Keep aggressive dogs away from shops

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Lydia Cattani, South Golden Beach

I live at South Golden Beach and am visually impaired. On Friday December 2 I was going into Ocean Shores shopping centre with Jay, my seeing eye dog, who is allowed by legislation to be anywhere with me.

Before coming inside the shopping centre Jay walked me quite widely away from the door entrance and I quickly realised that it was because there was another dog. This dog, tied to a chair, suddenly jumped on us, barking and moving towards us while dragging the chair.

My beloved Labrador Jay pulled me away from him while I was screaming. It was terribly scary and I have been shaking for a long time.

When I came out from my shopping at the chemist, a woman with her disabled child shared with me that she had not only seen what happened but had the same experience. But her child can’t run so it was even more scary.

Now, I am a dog person and I don’t like anti-dog politics and I totally understand that sometimes it happens that it could be handy to leave a dog out of the door of a shopping centre, even if there is a sign not to. However I really wish that every dog owner had the sensitivity and awareness to know if their own dog is ok to be left alone or if it gets agitated or aggressive.

Today it ended up with a big fright (and actually for people who already have difficulties, like me and that child), but, potentially this situation could be extremely dangerous and dramatic.

So, please dog owners… wake up!


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