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Blind Woman Has Guide Dog Taken Away

A BLIND woman has spoken of her sadness and disbelief at having her guide dog taken from her by the charity that supplied it. Patsy Johnstone was given her guide dog, Cody, last year by the Guide Dogs For The Blind Association.

Last May Ms Johnstone who lives in Wandsworth, South London was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and spent four weeks in hospital. It was during this time that the charity took the decision to remove Cody and place her with a temporary home. Ms Johnstone has since pleaded with the charity to return Cody, but the GDBA are standing by their decision.

Ms Johnstone who has been registered blind for four years due to complications relating to diabetes told local press: ‘Getting Cody was wonderful. She made a huge difference to my life and to my mobility. Losing her was terrible. It was a real blow. I was told Cody was not doing her job properly but I don't agree. Now I can only go out if I'm accompanied. I am a prisoner in my own home.’

A spokeswoman for the GDBA who at any one time support over 5,000 guide dog partnerships, explained what had led to the dog being removed from the relationship.

‘It became apparent that the relationship between Patsy and her guide dog was not working and unfortunately we had to make the difficult decision to withdraw her dog.

‘The guide dog is now living with a temporary owner while we continue an ongoing dialogue with Patsy to decide the best solutions for both parties.’