Livid Bully XL owners are refusing to accept a £200 Government handout to euthanise their soon-to-be-banned pets, branding the plan ‘absolutely disgusting’.
Government attempt to ban Bully XL
The breed will be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act by the end of the year, following a spate of recent fatal and horrific attacks.
Owners can apply to have their pets exempt from the crackdown – which means they would have to pay £92.40 for a certificate and the dog would need to be microchipped and neutered, among other rules.
The second option would be to have their dogs put down, with the government offering £200 in compensation to these owners.
Bully owners are not buying government’s options
But news of the measures this week triggered fury from Bully owners, who branded the move a ‘puppy scrappage scheme’.
Fuming Bully XL owner Ashley Oxley from Brighton told MailOnline: ‘No money would ever tempt me into putting my girl down she’s fine the way she is and that’s how it’s staying can’t believe in this generation this kind of brutality is even allowed.’
Mother-of-three Dani Harland added: ‘This breaks my heart. I own an XL Bully and I would never ever even dream of putting her down. I find this absolutely disgusting that they [the government] are even offering to pay people money to have their dogs put to sleep.’
The outcry comes as animal charities warned they face an impossible task of trying to rehome hundreds of Bully XLs stuck in rescue centres before the December 31 deadline, after which it will become illegal to rehome, breed, or sell the dogs.
Mel Kermode, operations manager of Freshfields Animal Rescue in Liverpool, said: ‘It is a desperate race against time to try and save these dogs. The clock is very much ticking.’
The Merseyside rescue shelter is trying to rehome about five Bully XL-type dogs but is being inundated with calls from ‘alarmed’ owners seeking to dump their pets before the ban comes into force.
Challenges facing government’s options
Ms Kermode said this has led to a crisis within the animal rescue sector, with centres across the UK now ‘bursting at the seams’ and unable to take any more pets in.
She now fears more healthy dogs which aren’t banned – and that could have be rehomed – could now be put down due to the huge backlog, in a situation she has branded ‘heartbreaking’.
‘The pressure is really on,’ she added.
‘It’s very stressful. Rescue centres are already flooded with dogs. The pandemic and cost-of-living crisis forced lots of people to surrender their pets. So kennels were already bursting but adding this ban into the mix has made it worse.’
It’s a similar situation at a rescue centre more than 200 miles to the north, at Berwick-upon-Tweed, in Northumberland.
Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels (BARK) has been struggling to find a home for two-year-old Bully XL Lily, who has been with the charity for almost a year.
Now the site faces just weeks to find a ‘committed’ owner for the ‘bright’ dog who loves to play.
‘The main problem for us is the timescale. We’re torn between trying to do it responsibly and then rushing to rehome, so the dogs aren’t put to sleep,’ said Jan Ross, who runs BARK.