Sectioned Woman Loses Guide Dog

A blind woman says she has been left a prisoner in her own home after her guide dog was taken from her. Patsy Johnstone, 47, of Wandsworth, was given Cody in June last year by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. But in May she spent four weeks in hospital after she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act – and while she was away the association took Cody back. Since then she has pleaded with them to return her dog but has had no success.

She said: “Getting Cody was wonderful. She made a huge difference to my life and to my mobility. Losing her was terrible. It was a real blow.I was told Cody was not doing her job properly but I don’t agree. Now I can only go out if I’m accompanied. I am a prisoner in my own home.”

Patsy has had diabetes since she was two and it started to affect her sight four years ago. She was registered blind last year.

A spokeswoman for the guide dog association said relationships between guide dogs and their owners were regularly assessed. She added: “It became apparent that the relationship between Patsy and her guide dog was not working and unfortunately we had to make the difficult decision to withdraw her dog. The guide dog is now living with a temporary owner while we continue an ongoing dialogue with Patsy to decide the best solutions for both parties.”