BLIND Reg Pallas can no longer pop into his favourite shopping centre after his guide dog developed a serial pooping problem.
Labrador Shane has been causing a stink at The Bridges after repeatedly relieving himself as he walks through the doors.
Shane’s toilet training is now such a problem that the Guide Dogs Association has stepped in and requested Reg keep his three-year-old dog out of the centre while he undergoes further training.
But Mr Pallas, who has had Shane since September 2010, disagrees with the move, claiming it will have an impact on his life.
He said: “I feel like I’m being discriminated against and victimised. A dog isn’t like a human being. When it has to go, it has to go and there’s nothing you can do.”
Mr Pallas, 71, of Ford Estate, said he has exhausted all avenues, including changing Shane’s diet and encouraging him to go to the toilet before entering the centre.
He said: “I was told to take him into a back lane first and wait for him to go to the toilet twice but there have been times when I’ve waited for half an hour and nothing. Then as soon as we step inside, he goes. It’s not as if it’s every time but nothing seems to be working.”
Mr Pallas, who was registered blind in 1974 and has visited The Bridges with guide dogs since 1993, said although he is allowed in with his cane, it is a struggle.
He visits the centre at least three times a week.
“All of the dogs I’ve had have had accidents.
“I’d could understand the problem if I just left it, but I don’t.
“It’s really awkward now because I know where all the shops are in The Bridges and I know my way around them.
“If I have to go to Sainsbury’s or Asda, they are two bus rides away and I don’t know them.”
The Guide Dogs Association said they took the decision, which would see Shane kept out of the centre until April, in a bid to help Mr Pallas and Shane overcome the problem.
A spokeswoman said: “The shopping centre is a particularly demanding environment for Mr Pallas and his guide dog Shane, which has led to some problems for the dog.
“Consequently we have advised Mr Pallas not to go to the centre while we work with him and Shane to ensure they can navigate the centre without any issues.
“This is a temporary measure and Mr Pallas and Shane are able to access alternative shops in the meantime.
“Advising our guide dog owners of temporary alternatives to their routes is not unusual, as we do this to safeguard both the owner’s and the dog’s welfare.”
Andy Bradley, centre director at The Bridges, added: “Mr Pallas is a regular shopper at the Bridges, he is always more than welcome and the team assist him wherever we can.
“We understand there is a training issue with Mr Pallas’ guide dog and members of the centre management team have held a number of meetings with the Guide Dogs Association to try and help resolve the situation.”