Calls for more awareness around guide dogs

Bunbury MLA Don Punch, Stephanie Crozier and Hamish with Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Mark Seaward.
Bunbury MLA Don Punch, Stephanie Crozier and Hamish with Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Mark Seaward.

Calls for more awareness and understanding for working guide dogs and their owners have been made after a Bunbury woman shared her experiences of being followed and asked to leave shops and centres. 

Stephanie Crozier relies on the help of her guide dog in training Hamish to get around and said it was humiliating and stressful to be treated differently because of it. 

“People have followed me around the shops, telling me I can’t be in there whilst Hamish is on the lead training,” he said. 

“I’d like to see more acceptance of Guide dogs and get the public to know that there are only two places where they’re not allowed and that’s in zoos and operating theatres in hospital.”

Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Mark Seaward said it was important to talk about it and for business owners to be aware. 

“I think we need to raise awareness of the fact that there are some guide dogs in the region and people need to be more accepting and understanding and for people to let them into their premises,” he said. 

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said he would like to see shopping centre owners themselves take a bit more of a lead and encourage policies within the centres to make sure all security and retailers were aware of the policies. 

“I’m sure many retailers are wanting to do the right thing, it’s an awareness issue and the more we can raise awareness the better,” he said.