A DESPAIRING man says his pet has been attacked so many times by other dogs with ‘irresponsible and inconsiderate’ owners he doesn’t feel safe walking him in the day.

The man, who did not wish to be named, lives in Barbourne with his German Shepard service dog and says he believes lockdown is to blame for the influx of unruly dogs on the streets.

He said: "I have serious concerns regarding the amount of people who have acquired or adopted dogs in lockdown and have no idea how to control them. I appreciate that dogs need adopting and would never suggest people don't rehome animals in need, but a lot are being returned to shelters after furlough when their owners realise they can't look after them anymore, so it is doing far more harm than good.

"My dog is always on a lead and is fully trained as he was a service dog. I now cannot take him out during the day as he has been attacked constantly by people with dogs on stretchy leads.

"There are hundreds of them. They simply do not know how to control their animals and now my very well behaved dog is suffering. He has become reactive due to the amount of attacks he has suffered and I don't feel safe walking him until at least 10pm.

"It is just not fair, it's not just my dog in danger but others too. I had an incident just last week where a small dog bolted across the road on an extendable lead to get to my dog and was nearly hit by a lorry. The driver was forced to come to a screaming stop and the dog was very nearly killed.

"Whenever I try to educate or confront the owners they usually just scream expletives at me. It has really taken a toll on me.

"I have had friends come to me to say they will no longer walk on the canal or the racecourse as there are just too many untrained, unruly dogs off lead and with irresponsible owners.

"Just sat in my window I witness so many dog on dog attacks it is ridiculous. My dog has even been attacked through the gate, we can't even relax in our own garden. It is really stressful and I know I'm not the only one suffering."

Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity, said a recent spike in interest in dogs could result in a wave of up to 40,000 abandoned pooches when 'unprepared new owners' return to normal life after coronavirus lockdown measures end.

The charity is known for its slogan, "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas," but the charity has temporarily tweaked it to read: "A dog is for life, not just for lockdown."

Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust chief executive, said that the aim was to remind people what a huge responsibility it is to own a pet.

"Like Christmas, when people are at home more, they might think now is the perfect time to get a dog," said Mr Sharp

"For some people this will be the case, but we're asking people to consider when the lockdown lifts how your life will need to change to accommodate your four-legged friend."