Birmingham vets host support session for American bully XL owners

An American bully XL dog
The government has announced that American bully XL dogs will be banned from the end of the year

A Birmingham veterinary practice has helped to prepare American bully XL owners for new legislation concerning the breed.

The breed will be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act from 31 December, imposing strict rules for owners.

It will also make it illegal to breed, sell, rehome, advertise, or abandon bully XLs.

To help owners to navigate the new law, Fivelands Vets in Moseley hosted a support session for owners on Tuesday.

'It's unethical'

Vets helped owners to learn about the new legislation and provided information about muzzle training.

Tina Andrews attended the session and said that it was heartbreaking that she would have to muzzle her dog Rocko.

"He's going to think he's done something wrong," she said.

Olivia Vaughn also attended the session in order to get more information about what she needs to do going forward.

Addressing the bully XL ban, she said: "I think it's unethical. I'll do whatever it takes to keep my dog. However, I don't feel like it solves the problem of backyard breeders."

The new legislation was announced in the wake of the death of 52-year-old Ian Price, who was killed in an attack by two American bully XLs in Stonnall, near Walsall, on 14 September.

Days earlier, an 11-year-old girl and two men were attacked by an American bully XL in Bordesley Green, Birmingham.

In 2021, 10-year-old Jack Lis died from severe neck and head injuries after he was attacked by an American bully XL in Caerphilly.

The new legislation requires all bully XLs to be neutered, microchipped, kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public.

'Running out of options'

Wings and Paws Animal Rescue in Wolverhampton has been offering to help owners with the cost of neutering their dogs.

However, volunteers were shocked when an owner asked the rescue to cover the cost of euthanising her bully XL, as her new landlord would not allow her to keep the dog and she feared becoming homeless.

Wings and Paws refused to pay and a volunteer said: "We are a no-kill rescue and this goes against everything we stand for.

"But, as much as we hate her decision, she's running out of options. We understand that sometimes people will have no choice.

"No rescues that we know of are accepting them as we are not allowed to rehome them after December, and you can no longer get medical insurance for banned breeds, so, if you cannot afford the vet bills, the dogs will be put to sleep.

"The government is offering £200 to have them put to sleep, but is offering nothing towards the cost of neutering, registration, or insurance.

"It seems very clear to us that they want these dogs killed off."

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