‘Animal rights activists’ target guide dog, and you won’t believe why!
A blind man was left shaken and distressed after a pair of 'animal rights' activists hurled abuse at him in public, claiming he should set his guide dog free!
Published on the 30/11/2019, 17:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:22
Jonathan Attenborough lives in Fife, Scotland. The 30-year-old has been blind for five years and finally got his own furry helper last April.
Guide dogs help people live richer lives
Since then, Jonathan and his Labrador Sam have been inseparable. Sam helps Jonathan live a more active life, and the pair have formed an incredibly strong bond that few people could understand.
Sam, like a true pro, expertly guided me through the absolutely magnificent halls of University College London today at the CBS Patient Day @guidedogs @guidedogsscot @esmesumbrella @MedDetectDogs pic.twitter.com/W6SSlhL3kQ— Jonathan Attenborough (@JonAttenborough) November 16, 2019
Unfortunately, not everyone can appreciate this special relationship.
During the last few months, Jonathan and Sam were targeted in two sperate incidents by self-proclaimed animal rights activists.
Talking about the first shocking incident, Jonathan said:
"I was in a café in Edinburgh with Sam, and a man approached me to tell me I shouldn't have a guide dog. He said dogs should be running free in the fields, not sitting in cafes. I thought he was joking at first."
"I explained what kind of life Sam has, he wasn't 100 per cent convinced but he did seem much more open to the idea."
The second encounter was much worse. This time the person was far more aggressive, leaving Jonathan feeling 'very uncomfortable.'
Although the pair reflects a very tiny minority of British society, Jonathan often finds himself worrying about his and Sam's safety.
“Can I just stay here and play in the autumn leaves?” ?— Jonathan Attenborough (@JonAttenborough) October 28, 2019
It’s been a busy day today but finally home to chill out! pic.twitter.com/4qEgSEjaIk
Thankfully, Jonathan and Sam have received lots of support from friends, family, and animal welfare organisations.
Team Jonathan and Sam
Tim Stafford from the charity Guide Dogs said:
"We are always extremely sorry to hear when a guide dog owner encounters hostility, and we will offer support in every way we can."
So don't let a pair of what can only be described as 'idiots' get you down, Jonathan. You and Sam are clearly the best of friends, and he looks like one very happy pooch!
Thank you so much #AXSChat for having me as a guest tonight! It’s been such a pleasure chatting with you all this evening. I hope everyone had enjoyed it as much as I have. A very goodnight from me and my guide dog, Sam pic.twitter.com/HqmQuzXZSs— Jonathan Attenborough (@JonAttenborough) November 5, 2019