XL Bully puppies have been muzzled by their owners after strict new laws on the breed came into effect today – but some are still trying to return their dogs even though the practice is now illegal.
As of today, it is a crime to muzzle and off-lead dogs in public places, while breeding, selling, rehoming and abandoning dogs is also against the law.
Some pet owners have shared photos of their animals in their new masks, although some say their pets are “tearing them up” and refusing to wear them.
However, others are still trying to rehome their animals, either apparently believing the law has not yet taken effect or openly expressing their disdain for the legislation.
Owners have been urged to apply for an exemption certificate before the January 31 deadline or face leaving their animals behind; Owning an XL Bully in England and Wales without a certificate from 1 February will be a criminal offence.
Dog owners have been sharing photos of their dogs in Facebook groups, with mixed results when it comes to forcing their dogs to wear mandatory horns.
One simply said: “The puppy is doing well with the muzzle,” but the owner of the four-month-old pup said his pet “struggled this morning and kept crying.”
Another owner, sharing a photo of her XL Bully, wrote: “I sat here this morning crying as the news this morning confirms that today is the day to wear masks outside the home.”
“I have two great XL's… one of them will walk on the muzzle great but Big Bear… doesn't have any.”
“He turns into a statue and can't walk and keeps tearing it apart. I feel broken.
“My kids can't walk together anymore until he can handle a mask. I'm sitting here defeated by everything.”
Animal charities are urging owners to start training their dogs to wear masks for several months. The legislation was announced in September following a spate of deadly and serious attacks, and was fully detailed at the end of October.
Some Facebook groups dedicated to rehoming animals disappeared after the legislation took effect at midnight.
However, others remain active, with members openly offering to transport animals today even though doing so is now against the law.
In some cases, those offering help are doing so on the misunderstanding that the law will not take effect until midnight tonight. The government says the new law is “Now Saria”.
“It is also illegal to breed, sell, advertise, gift, exchange, give away or let XL Bully puppies walk away for the day,” a government spokesperson said earlier today.
However, others have publicly stated that they will ignore the legislation, or post anonymously so that their names and faces do not appear next to their offers for help.
“If anyone has an XL out there and needs a home, they're with me,” one said. (F***) Stupid law.
Another added: “I'm looking for an XL too!” Yes, (f***) law, (f***) snack, peace*** (sic).'
Elsewhere, private listing sites such as Forever Puppy have continued to list XL Bully puppies for sale even though the practice of selling Mongolian puppies is now against the law.
The ads were first reported by the sun She notes that dogs are still being sold by owners and breeders online.
Forever Puppy told the newspaper it was removing adverts “in reference to XL Bullies”, but MailOnline found more adverts that remained online.
“If you are aware of one that was missed, please share this with us immediately as we take this very seriously,” the company said.
On TikTok, a dog breeder claiming to be based in London continues to provide puppies even though it is now illegal to breed and rehome dogs.
When a user asked earlier today if they still had puppies on offer, the breeder said: “Yes, if you're seriously interested, reply to my message.”
They suggested the dogs would be sold for £300 each, but this price could be “negotiable”.
Animal welfare groups fear the ban will overwhelm rescue centers and vets, where hundreds of dogs are scheduled to be culled this week.
Environment Minister Steve Barclay said the government had delivered on its pledge to take “swift and decisive action” following a series of attacks, several of which killed, and are believed to be linked to the mongrel.
But the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the measures were “not the solution” and warned of a “significant risk” that rescue centers and vets would be unable to cope with the potential increase in demand.
Samantha Gaines, a dog welfare expert at the charity, said: “What's really worrying is that the bans have come with such frequency that there may be owners who are not prepared for this, being able to make sure their dog is happy wearing their dog. mask.
“There is some fear that people, for whatever reason, have left it a little too late, and what that means.”
She added: “Breed is not a good or reliable indicator for predicting aggressive behaviour.
“Whether or not a dog continues to use aggressive behavior depends on how he was raised, how he was raised, and his life experiences.”
Instead of targeting dogs with new laws, Dr Gaines said existing legislation should be used more effectively to crack down on people who exploit and breed animals irresponsibly.
She warned against “misleading the public that they will be safer when we really have to address the root causes.”
Meanwhile, the Association of Dog and Cat Homes (ADCH) has warned of a rise in dog abandonment rates, and said the new rules could lead to a “postcode lottery” for vets to help dog owners meet conditions.
To qualify for an exemption certificate, owners must prove that their XL bully has been neutered by June 30.
If the puppy is less than a year old by January 31, it must be neutered by the end of 2024, and evidence must be provided.
In addition to neutering their animals, owners of XL bullies seeking an exemption must also pay an application fee, obtain active general liability insurance for their pets and ensure the dogs are microchipped.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said a “gradual approach” was being taken to the restrictions in order to safely manage the current population of XL bullies with the breed eventually being banned.
The dogs were added to the Dangerous Dogs Act on October 31, giving their owners two months to prepare for the first phase of restrictions.
People with dangerously out-of-control dogs can be jailed for 14 years, banned from owning animals, and their pets can be abandoned.
“The Prime Minister has pledged to take swift and decisive action to protect the public from devastating dog attacks, with measures in place by the end of 2023,” Barclay said.
“We have delivered on that pledge – it is now a legal requirement for XL Bully puppies to be muzzled and placed in public. It is also now illegal to breed, sell, advertise, gift, exchange, give away or let XL Bully puppies stray.
“All XL bully dog owners are expected to abide by the law and we will continue to work closely with police, dog experts, veterinary medicine and animal welfare groups, as further restrictions on XL bully dogs come into force on 1 February.”
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