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Blind Davis Couple Worries Service Dogs Aren't Safe As Other Owners Don't Use Leashes

DAVIS (CBS13) — A blind couple in Davis says their service dogs are being attacked by aggressive dogs, and it's happening far too often.

Mike May and Gena Harper say it's now becoming a safety issue for all dog owners in the city.

The longtime Davis residents need their service dogs to get around, but say those who can see often overlook their dilemma.

Tank helps Mike navigate through Davis and Yule does the same for Gena during their daily, mostly uneventful walks. But that's not always the case.

"And it's really scary when incidents happen," Harper said.

Because they can't see, they don't know when aggressive dogs are nearby until the growling and barking begins.

"My response is I scream which seems a little crazy but it's just really scary instantaneously and I'm afraid the dogs are going to get into a big fight," she said.

"The natural reaction when I hear a dog coming at my is to reach down to grab a leash or something like that so I've been bitten a couple of times," May said.

The couple isn't asking for special treatment, just consideration from others for the city's leash laws. According to Yolo County Animal Control, leashes are mandatory, except in desginated areas, and cannot exceed eight feet long.

"If he got into a fight he might become aggressive which means he's got to go out of service because you can't have an aggressive seeing eye dog," May said. "That's not their job. They're there to guide, not to protect."

Animal Control released a statement, saying "People have been known to take advantage of the laws in the area. Currently, the officers do active patrolling in parks and open spaces. [We are] not aware of this particular situation."

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