Blind holidaymaker 'told to leave beach' in Devon for flouting dog ban


Blind holidaymaker 'told to leave beach' in Devon for flouting dog ban

A blind holidaymaker claims he was asked to leave a Torbay, Devon, beach after being accused of flouting a dog ban with his guide dog.

Joe Loughrey, 48, from Nottingham, who is registered blind and partially sighted, was with his guide dog Vida, a five-year-old labrador/retriever cross.

After letting the dog off the lead at Oddicombe beach, he was confronted by a member of the beach team, who asked him to leave, reports Devon Local News.

He toldThis Is South Devon: "I apologised and put the guide dog back on her lead with the luminous 'Guide Dog' flash but the beach patrol worker again insisted I left the beach."

Joe and his wife Angela had planned a week-long holiday in Torquay, but left the next day and headed to the Isle of Wight.

He said he checked before their arrival to endure guide dogs were allowed on the beach, which they are. However, they are not allowed off the lead.

A spokesman for the Torbay Council's residents' and visitor services team told This Is South Devon: "Working guide dogs are welcomed on all Torbay beaches. However, it appears in this instance the guide dog was off the lead and therefore not 'working' for its owner."

"Torbay Council is committed to providing accessible facilities for people of all abilities and due to our thorough training we consider it highly unlikely a member of our staff would have said no guide dogs are allowed on the beach even on a lead. However, we will investigate this with the members of staff on duty that day."

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