A GUIDE dog was attacked by a stray dog as its owner walked along a main street in Leigh.

Passers-by rushed to help the owner who was struggling to free his dog from the grip of the stray which had fastened its paws around the guide dog's neck.

The attack – the second such incident in the town involving a guide dog in recent weeks – happened on Monday , February 18 at at 11.15am, near the Asda store in Leigh town centre.

The owner said , who does not wish to be identified, said: “I am relieved that we managed to get the attacking dog off. The stray dog began growling when I put my hands in the way to intervene and I fear that things could have turned very nasty.”

The guide dog was examined by a vet and given anti-inflammatory treatment for bruising to the neck area and is now recovering.

Guide Dogs has welcomed the Governments proposals for the compulsory microchipping of dogs in England but is calling for them to go further.

Emma Allen-Taylor, Engagement Officer for the Manchester Mobility Team at Guide Dogs' regional headquarters at Atherton, said: “We believe that an attack on an assistance dog should be considered an attack on the person, to reflect the fact that a guide dog is a vital mobility aid and that such attacks are very distressing for people who are already vulnerable.”