An Opelousas woman says she’s in danger every day walking to work because loose dogs in her neighborhood are beginning to pose a real threat to her guide dog and her safety.
"It’s very important for me to have my guide dog. She’s valuable and she’s my security," says Park Vista teacher Agnes Courville, who says she is blind. But when a group stray dogs approaches, she is no longer secure with just her guide dog for navigation and protection.
"In ten weeks, I’ve had seven attacks," says Courville, adding that because she’s legally blind, she can’t drive or bike to school. Walking through the neighborhood is her only option.
"My problem is with irresponsible owners who leave their dogs unattended without a fence, no collar and leash, so the dog usually comes to my dog. And my guide dog is submissive, so she is more prone to be attacked."
She’s also concerned for elderly residents and children in the neighborhood, so she took the issue to the council.
"It broke my heart hearing her story it really did, and I’m pretty sure the entire council, the whole city of Opelousas felt her pain, and she was just really speaking up for the entire city, not just herself," says Councilman Tyrone Glover.
He says there are already rules in place that should fix this issue.
"If you have a dog that belongs to you and it’s running around loose, you will be in jeopardy of getting a fine," says Glover, who advises calling 911 or the city when a dog is wandering without its owner.