Blind woman "heartbroken" after guide dog removed for being overweight

Service dog in down-stay. FILE PHOTO
Service dog in down-stay. FILE PHOTO

An Irish woman has told how she has been left housebound after her guide dog was taken away for being overweight.

Lena, who lives in Cork, told RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline that she has been “heartbroken” since Elsa, a Labrador-retriever mix, was taken away by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

"I’m helpless now and I can’t do anything without her,” she told host Philip Boucher Hayes after her dog of eight years was removed on July 8th.

Lena said she was given two warnings about the dog’s weight but due to the bad weather she was unable to exercise the dog regularly.

David McCarthy of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind joined the programme to explain why the dog was removed.

“This isn’t an easy situation for anybody, in particular for Lena. It’s complex, it’s not straightforward, there’s no easy solution,” he said.

Mr McCarthy added that once the dog returns to a healthy weight, they plan to reunite her with Lena.




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