Woman's guide dog attacked inside convenience store

(KUTV) A terrifying dog attack inside a convenience store has one woman very upset -- not just because of where it happened, but also because of what it means for this woman's daily life.
Jenny Jones and her dog, Racer, have known each other for just two weeks. But it seems like much longer.

“I can't believe how much I love him so much already,” said Jones. “He's a sweetheart. I really do care about this guy.”

Monday morning, she, Racer, and some of her co-workers went to a Salt Lake City 7-Eleven on 800 S. 200 East. As they entered the store, one of Jones’s co-workers warned her there were other dogs inside the store.

“I kind of thought, well, wait a minute, dogs shouldn’t be inside a store unless it’s a service animal,” Jones said.

One of those other dogs, Jones says, immediately attacked hers.
“It was terrifying,” said Jones. “It seemed like eternity.”

But Jones couldn't see what was happening. She's blind. Racer is her guide dog. All she could do was listen.

“I just hear screaming from my dog, my co-workers start screaming, everybody's screaming,” Jones said.

She said somehow the other dog's owner broke things up. But the damage was done.

“His ear was torn up, he had to have stitches in three spots on his ear,” said Jones. “There's a spot on the back of his head that was torn.”

Racer is now out of commission for at least two weeks.

“I'm gaining independence and feeling so exhilarated these last two weeks,” Jones said. Now, she hopes for the best for her new best friend.

She also wonders why those other dogs were inside 7-Eleven in the first place. 2News went there Tuesday afternoon to try to find out. No one at the store was able to comment, and the company's corporate office didn't respond by the time this story aired Tuesday night.

But Wednesday morning, a company spokesman responded to 2News with the following statement:
“We allow service dogs in our stores but request that other (non-service) pets remain outside,” said Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications for 7-Eleven in an email.

Chabris also said she is working to gather more information on the incident.

Jones wishes that policy had been enforced when she entered the store with her dog.

“Those public places should be safe for the public and should be reserved for guide dogs and service dogs only,” Jones said.

She reported this incident to Salt Lake City police. Detective Greg Wilking said investigators believe they've found the other dog’s owner, but police are turning this case over to Salt Lake County Animal Services for further investigation and any possible citations.

UPDATE: 7-Eleven responds to guide dog attack


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