'Last hope' - Animal rescue centre issues urgent XL Bully adoption appeal ahead of ban

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Freshfields Animal Rescue are facing an 'adoption emergency'. They have four dogs that need to find a new home before news laws come into effect at the end of December.

A Merseyside animal rescue centre has issued an urgent appeal as they face an "adoption emergency". Freshfields Animal Rescue say they "urgently" need forever homes for four dogs in their care, ahead of new laws banning XL Bully type dogs.

The breed was added to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act in October, with it becoming illegal to "breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL Bully dogs to stray in England and Wales" from December 31, 2023.

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Freshfields say potential adopters coming forward before the end of the year is the "last hope" for the XL Bullies in their care.

Debbie Hughes explains: "After December 31, the ban expressly forbids us from advertising or rehoming them. They will be trapped in kennels for probably ten years, which is no life for them, and will block spaces for the hundreds of dogs we could save in that time. We are desperate to find these dogs a loving home."

The animal rescue are offering a substantial support package for anyone who adopts one of their XL Bullies, including removing adoption fees, covering costs of Exemption Certification, insurance and free veterinary care.

Sonny is twelve-years-old.Sonny is twelve-years-old.
Sonny is twelve-years-old.
Two-year-old Aura.Two-year-old Aura.
Two-year-old Aura.

Four dogs are seeking homes by the end of the year: one-year-old Moose, two-year-old Aura, Dexter, 7, and golden oldie, Sonny, who is 12.

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Dexter is seven.Dexter is seven.
Dexter is seven.

One-year-old Moose.One-year-old Moose.
One-year-old Moose.

What does the XL Bully ban mean?

As well as it becoming illegal to "breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL Bully dogs to stray in England and Wales" from December 31, 2023, dogs must also be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. Breeders have been told to stop mating these types of dogs since October.

From February 1, 2024, it will become illegal to own an XL Bully dog if it is not registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs. Owners without a Certificate of Exemption face a criminal record and an unlimited fine if they are found to be in possession of an XL Bully type, and their dog could be seized.

These dogs must also be microchipped and neutered. Dogs under one year when the ban comes in must be neutered by the end of the year, older dogs must be neutered by the end of June. The official definition of an XL Bully type can be found here.

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