I was on the No.27 bus at 3pm heading back from the Refuge to Perth CBD today (Wednesday 27th July 2016). This guy got on at Kings’ Park Road, and a chocolate brown dog got on too – it was off-lead. The bus driver said dogs weren’t allowed on public transport. The guy said “It’s not my dog. I’ve never seen it before”. I went over and asked if anyone could see any tags on it. A lady said “Yes, there’s a name disc with a phone number on it”. I said “I walk dogs at the Dogs’ Refuge Home, I have a lead in my bag. I’ll take the dog off the bus and contact the owner”. It was holding up the bus, you see.
That’s when the guy said, “Ok, it’s my dog. He’s a Service dog. He’s my Seeing Eye dog”. This guy was wearing a high-visibility vest, work clothes and carrying a radio, he certainly was NOT blind! The bus driver said, “It’s not wearing a Guide Dog vest. Sir, dogs are not allowed on the bus”. The guy turned to the dog and shouted “Get out of here!”, and the poor dog turned and ran off the bus. I couldn’t risk that poor dog getting hit by vehicles, getting lost, biting someone, or worse…so I got off the bus and clipped my lead on the dog.
I then rang the number on the dog’s name disc. True enough, the guy on the bus answered the call. I said “Come off the bus so it can drive on, you’re holding everyone up. I have your dog Ponch on my lead, let’s take him home safely together”. He replied, “I’ve somewhere to go to in the City. YOU take him home for me!” He gave me his address and said to open the gate and leave the dog tied to his verandah. I said I couldn’t just go to his house with his dog, that would be trespassing and the cops could arrest me. He replied “I’m not getting off this bus. Just let my dog go. He knows the way home.”
Anyway, the bus driver then said he had to go, and so the bus drove off, with the dog’s owner still on it. I tried calling the Refuge, but the number was engaged. So I called the Subiaco Rangers instead. About 30 minutes later, Andrew the Ranger turned up. I explained the whole incident to Andrew, and he took Ponch the dog and put him in his van. The Refuge probably has Ponch now.
I wonder what explanation Ponch’s owner had for the Ranger when he got a phone call from them.
I did some research and found this info (attached) – the owner faces a fine of up to $800, for his negligence and irresponsibility.
What a day!