XL Bully ban causing 'chaos and heartbreak' says Teesside dog rehoming centre

Rolo may have to spend his life in kennels due to the upcoming ban on XL Bullies. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A dog rehoming centre on Teesside has said a ban on XL Bully dogs is causing “chaos and heartbreak”.

The Government is changing the law following a rise in fatal attacks involving the breed.

From New Year’s Eve, restrictions will come into force which means it will be illegal to breed, sell or abandon XL Bullies. Advertising, gifting and exchanging puppies of this type will also be banned. XL Bullies will also have to be muzzled in public.

From 1 February,  it will become a criminal offence to be in possession of an XL bully in England and Wales unless you have applied for an exemption.

At Maxi’s Mates Rescue and Rehoming Centre, in Carlin Howe, Jane Galliford said the upcoming changes were causing chaos.

She said: “We’re getting calls from people who are trying to surrender their dogs. Dogs are getting tied up to fences and left. People are ringing to say their dog is a stray and it’s not; it’s an XL Bully. It is really chaos at the moment.”

Among the centre’s new arrivals is Patchy, who was brought in a stray this week. The centre is trying to find him a spot at a rescue centre in Scotland, where there is no ban.

If they cannot find him a place, he will be put to sleep.

Antonia Boyd, a trustee at the rescue centre said: “It’s actually heartbreaking. We go to bed on an evening thinking of these dogs. We wake up thinking about these dogs. We’re just trying to keep everyone afloat really and do the best for all the dogs.”

XL Bully Rolo has been at the centre since October and an application for exemption has been made, making it his permanent home.

Ms Galliford added: “That means a life in kennels which he’s not going to be happy about but at least he’s alive.

"We were hoping someone could come forward and adopt him but that hasn’t happened.”

Kaiser's owner is applying for an exemption certificate for him. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Sarah Towers, from North Shields, is among those applying for an exemption certificate for family pet Kaiser.

She said: “It’s unfair what’s happening. He’s paying the price for something a bully type has done.

"I do feel for the people who have lost their lives. I’m a responsible owner and I’m a mother but you can’t tar every dog the same.”

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