& # 39; Aggressive & # 39; animal rights activists focus on the blind man, 30, for holding a guide dog who, according to him, should run & # 39; freely around & # 39;
- Jonathan Attenborough, 30, from Fife, relies on his highly trained labrador Sam
- People claiming to be animal rights activists said he shouldn't have had a guide dog
- Claimed that he was told & # 39; dogs should roam freely in fields, not sit in cafes & # 39;
- In a second incident at a Portsmouth bar, an & # 39; named aggressive & # 39; wife him & # 39; cruel & # 39;
Jonathan Attenborough, 30, from Newburgh, Fife, has twice been the target of angry animal rights activists who said he & # 39; cruel & # 39; was because he had his guide dog Sam
A blind man was shocked after being targeted by angry animal rights activists – because he has a guide dog.
Jonathan Attenborough, who has been completely blind for five years, relies on his "constant companion," a highly trained labrador named Sam.
The 30-year-old from Newburgh, Fife, said the guide dog had enabled him to lead a more satisfying life since he was paired to it in April last year.
After two verbal attacks by people who claim to be campaigners against animal abuse, he begins to worry about further abuse.
And he is not alone. Another blind man has also come forward to describe the hostility with which he too has had to deal.
Mr. Attenborough said: "The first time it happened to me was in April this year. I was in a cafe in Edinburgh with Sam and a man approached me to tell me that I shouldn't have a guide dog.
"He said dogs should run freely through the fields, not in cafes. At first I thought he was joking.
"He wasn't particularly hostile, just wanted to have a conversation, and after I explained what kind of life Sam has, he wasn't 100 percent convinced, but he seemed much more open to the idea."
However, the second incident was "more aggressive". Mr. Attenborough explained how he and another owner of a guide dog were approached by a so-called "animal rights activist" in a bar in Portsmouth, who called them "cruel." He added: "She was very in our face and made us feel very uncomfortable.
"I was so surprised. I tried to have a conversation with her, but she wasn't listening, she just seemed to be furious. It came to the point that her husband came to lead her away. "He added," Now it's really bad on my radar, I wonder if it will happen again and what people think.
& # 39; But since the topic has been in the news, I have received a lot of support, which is good to see. People cannot believe that things like this happen to guide dog owners. & # 39;
Mr. Attenborough is convinced that Sam is very happy to be his guide dog. He said: "Sam always wants to come with me wherever I go.
"He is my constant companion and, like any other dog, can roam freely without guidance.
Mr. Attenborough said he was approached in Edinburgh by a man who told him that dogs should run around freely in the field, not in cafes & # 39; (file photo)
"He is never left alone at home like some pets. I can feel his tail wagging all the time. The bond between me and him cannot be equaled. & # 39;
A second man, who asked not to be mentioned, told The Times that he had also experienced hostility.
He was paired with his first guide dog, a black labrador named Winnie, in July last year.
The man said: "I have been approached and asked why I think it is moral to have a guide dog. To be honest, I find it completely inappropriate for everyone to find it acceptable to approach people who may be handicapped and have a guide dog or assistance animal.
"There is so much that I trust (the guide dog) for. She has considerably improved my self-confidence and I have to say, with guide dogs and especially with Winnie, I don't think I would be here without them. & # 39;
Tim Stafford, of the guide dogs for charities, said: "We are always sorry when a guide dog encounters hostility, and we will provide support in every way possible.
"Fortunately, these instances are very rare. The well-being of our dogs is absolutely paramount and they are bred and trained with great care. & # 39;
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