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Opinion: Why we need Dusty’s Law to protect guide dogs, handlers

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: of Kirsten Eversen (Morristown Green

By Kirsten Eversen (Morristown Green) State laws protecting the rights of guide dogs and handlers vary, but few provide real protection, compensation, and lawful response.

These attacks often receive limited response because animal control officers cannot assist immediately and do not work on nights or weekends.

Skittles as a puppy. Photo courtesy of Kirsten Eversen (Morristown Green)

If passed, Dusty’s Law would offer round-the-clock police protection for New Jersey’s guide dog teams who need immediate assistance.

My family and I are “puppy raisers” for The Seeing Eye Inc. We have raised four Seeing Eye dogs, all of which successfully made it through the program.

Our third dog, Skittles, a female German Shepherd, was placed with a middle-aged woman with a big yard and an active lifestyle.

Two years later, Skittles was attacked by a dog while walking in harness. She became traumatized and was forced to give up her career as a guide dog. Her owner was unable to keep Skittles, so she came back to my family as a pet.

Skittles settled back into our home but despite her readjustment, Skittles was originally destined to be a guide dog and the fact that something so sudden and preventable destroyed her call in life breaks my heart.

Too many guide dog teams throughout the country have had similar experiences. READ MORE ….

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