N.S. woman seeks compensation after guide dog burns paws on hot tar
Dario Balca, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, January 2, 2015 8:15PM EST
A visually-impaired Nova Scotia woman is asking for financial compensation after her guide dog was injured at a construction site on her street last month.
Brenda Anderson of Eastern Passage, N.S. said the incident occurred on Dec. 4. Anderson was walking by roadwork on her street with her guide dog Noble when a flag worker asked her to take a detour around the site.
Anderson said the path the worker suggested was covered in hot tar that she couldn’t see. While her feet were protected by her shoes, Noble suffered severe burns to his paws and hasn’t been able to walk properly since.
“My dog starts to lift his feet, he starts to dance,” Anderson said.
Jessica Whattam, Anderson’s daughter, said the dog’s injury is also putting her mother at risk now that she has to walk alone.
“She was almost hit at a crosswalk a couple of days after the accident,” Whattam said. “She’s had issues getting lost in a mall that Noble knows inside out and backwards.”
Veterinarians say it could be six months before Noble can work as a guide dog again.
“I’ve lost 100 per cent of my independence because, when I leave my house, my eyes have four paws and a tail,” Anderson said.
Anderson said she has tried contacting the construction firm and the Halifax Water Commission, for whom the work was being done, but hasn’t been able to connect with either.
One lawyer she contacted refused to take on her case.
For Noble, a German Shepherd who loves playing fetch, the injuries mean he can’t walk for very long before he starts limping. He can no longer leave the house with his owner.
“It’s really hard when I try to take (Anderson) out to do something and to see (Noble) cry when we leave,” said Whattam.
While costs for the dog’s treatment are piling up, Anderson said she isn’t worried about the vet bills for now. She just wants Noble to get better.
Eastern Passage is a community of almost 12,000 people about 15 kilometres southeast of Halifax.
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Ron Shaw