Public outcry as guide dog and blind owner face verbal abuse on MTR train

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21st April 2024 – (Hong Kong) On a recent day in Hong Kong’s MTR, a video capturing a heated confrontation has sparked widespread online discussion and indignation. The footage shows a guide dog, a black Labrador, seated in front of its blind owner, being verbally attacked by an elderly man. The incident, which unfolded within the confines of a train carriage, has led to public condemnation of the man’s behaviour and a broader conversation about respect and awareness for the disabled and their service animals.

In the video, the Labrador, trained to assist its visually impaired owner, appears distressed and helpless under the barrage of accusations from the elderly man. Despite the dog’s display of distress, it maintained its composure, showcasing the discipline instilled through its training. The man, wearing a sleeveless jacket, was heard questioning the legitimacy of the dog’s role, asking provocatively, “What kind of guide dog are you?”

The situation escalated when a local woman, seated next to the blind owner, intervened. She attempted to educate the man, asserting, “It is a guide dog!” The blind owner herself responded assertively, effectively silencing the man with a poignant remark about her disability and his apparent lack of perception.

The incident, which lasted for about 22 seconds, ended with the elderly man ceasing his complaints, but the video continues to circulate online, drawing critical comments from netizens. Many expressed their dismay and shock, emphasising the need for better understanding and respect towards guide dogs and their essential roles. Comments such as “ignorance is truly frightening” and calls for educating people on the significance of service animals were prevalent.