Did Lord Blunkett’s guide dog kill park squirrels?

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Did Lord Blunkett’s guide dog kill park squirrels? Former home secretary’s canine Barley is accused of ‘horrific’ attack while let off lead

  • Lord Blunkett’s guide dog allegedly attacked a baby squirrel and an older animal
  • One park user filmed his dog Barley running through Green Park, central London 
  • But the peer says his dog chases them but denied his dog killed any squirrels

Lord Blunkett’s guide dog has been accused of killing two squirrels in a public park.

Witnesses say Barley, the former home secretary’s dog, attacked the animals when let off its lead to stretch its legs in two separate incidents in September and October.

According to one park user, who filmed and photographed Barley running through Green Park, central London, he allegedly attacked a baby squirrel and an older animal.

‘It was horrific. I walk in the park every day and see Lord Blunkett very regularly,’ the witness said. 

Witnesses say Barley, the former home secretary’s dog, attacked the animals when let off its lead to stretch its legs in two separate incidents in September and October. Lord Blunkett is pictured above with Barley

Witnesses say Barley, the former home secretary’s dog, attacked the animals when let off its lead to stretch its legs in two separate incidents in September and October. Lord Blunkett is pictured above with Barley

‘He lets his dog off the leash and it runs around preying on the squirrels while he is oblivious to what it’s doing.

‘It was horrible to see those poor squirrels being killed like that. I have not been able to sleep at night and can hear them screaming out in pain.

‘I go to the park to relax and enjoy the environment and don’t want to be confronted by big, killer dogs.’

A complaint has been made to police as well as park managers who say a campaign will be launched in the royal park to make sure owners behave more responsibly when walking their dogs. 

However, the Labour peer denied his dog had killed any squirrels.

According to one park user, who filmed and photographed Barley running through Green Park, central London, he allegedly attacked a baby squirrel and an older animal

According to one park user, who filmed and photographed Barley running through Green Park, central London, he allegedly attacked a baby squirrel and an older animal

He said: ‘Absolutely yes, he chases after squirrels but never catches them. There’s no law against dogs chasing tree rats.

‘My dog would not kill a fly. My dog is a guide dog. If anybody wants to complain to me, they can.’

The 73-year-old, who was born blind, said: ‘I once had [someone] throw a dead squirrel at me, which had rigor mortis. This only sets in after somebody has been dead for several hours. It had nothing to do with Barley.’

Barley, a retriever/German shepherd cross, is Lord Blunkett’s seventh guide dog and has been with him since 2018. 

In 2017, the peer spoke of his heartbreak when his sixth guide dog, Cosby, died suddenly after vets discovered an inoperable liver tumour.

Lord Blunkett had to wait five months to receive Barley and said having to do so had made him feel truly ‘blind’ for the first time in his life.

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, 2020-10-24 00:59:34

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