Animal rights activists 'leave blind man shaken after targeting his guide dog'

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Angry animal rights activists left a blind man shaken after telling him he shouldn’t have a guide dog.  Jonathan Attenborough loves his Labrador Sam but revealed he was ordered to set him free.  The 30-year-old, from Newburgh, Fife, has been blind for five years and needs his faithful pup to get around.  Sam, who has been with his owner since April, has enabled him to lead a more fulfilling life since they were paired up.  He had two runs ins – with the second “raging” activist not accepting his need for assistance.   He told MailOnline : “The first time it happened to me was in April this year.  “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.  “He wasn’t particularly hostile, just looking to have a conversation, and after 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.”  But it’s the second meeting with another activist which left Jonathan concerned – and worried about future confrontations.  He said that the woman was ‘very in-our-faces’ and made him feel ‘feel very uncomfortable’.  The experience left him ‘taken aback’ and he tried and failed to have a conversation with her before her husband came over and led her away.  Jonathan says that the situation is now on his radar and he worries what people will think when they see him with his dog.  Tim Stafford from 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.  “Fortunately these instances are very rare. The welfare of our dogs is absolutely paramount and they are bred and trained with great care.”

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