Man throws tool bag at guide dog, injuring it

SINGAPORE - She waited for seven years before she got her professional guide dog, so when a man threw a tool bag at it, Lim Lee Lee was outraged.

Miss Lim, who is visually impaired, was walking home with a male friend and her labrador retriever Nice on Tuesday evening when the incident happened near a work site in Kovan.

"On the way home, a man suddenly threw a bag at us. There was a hammer, wrench and other heavy items in the bag, and they injured Nice," the motivational speaker and freelance writer told Shin Min Daily News.

The 47-year-old said the unidentified man was very rude and further provoked her friend, asking: "What do you want? Do you want to fight?"

Not wanting to escalate the situation, Miss Lim and her friend resumed their walk home, but her guide dog's condition slowly deteriorated.

A site supervisor was at the scene and witnessed the whole incident, evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported.

"About an hour later, Nice began to emit moans and looked like he was in great pain, so I had no choice but to call the vet," Miss Lim said.

After inspecting the dog, the vet told her it had suffered injuries in its right foreleg and hind leg. The vet also helped her to make a police report.

The dog, which is five years old, is now limping and an X-ray yesterday morning showed that the injury had not healed.

She told Shin Min that because her dog was injured, it had to stay at home to be looked after by her parents.

"I've spent about $500 on his medical bills and, because I don't have a dog to guide me, I have to use a cane when I go out," said Miss Lim.

"I wish to tell the public that even if you are in a bad mood, you cannot take it out on a dog."

She added that her guide dog is her eyes, and inflicting harm on the dog was akin to hurting her eyes.

Nice was given to Miss Lim by Japanese non-profit organisation EyeMate in October 2013.

"Dogs are alive and have feelings too," she told Wanbao. "I hope everyone respects their place and presence, and not trample on them because they are animals."

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