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Charity ‘gets up to 20 calls a day from people trying to get rid of XL bullies’

A dog charity has been left despairing after receiving up to 20 calls a day from people begging them to take their XL bullies away.

The news comes after a string of incidents where dogs and people, including children, have been attacked by dogs said to be from the loosely-defined breed.

Officially recognised by the American Bully Kennel Club, the UK Kennel Club told the Daily Star that it did not register the breed, which makes gathering data on the number of incidents surrounding XL bullies hard to come by.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE Why there are more brutal dog attacks as experts reveal the true causes of epidemic

This, however, has not stopped smaller organisations from reporting astonishing numbers of people desperate to get this loosely-defined dog breed out of their homes.

Ira Moss, from London-based charity All Dogs Matter, laid bare the reality to the Daily Star.

She said: “We are just a medium-small North London charity and we are getting on average approximately one to 20 calls a day from owners trying to give up their bullies and most of them call to say that they have rung around all the charities and are being turned away.

“I’d estimate that these numbers have been higher since the beginning of the Summer holidays and often [people get in contact] if there has been a dog attack featured in the press.”

Ira also noted that many of the dogs they receive calls about are of a similar age.

“[It is] also interesting that most of these dogs are an average age of one to two, so are lockdown dogs," she said.

"Most owners say they can’t afford to look after them, but have somehow managed to find the £1,000 plus to buy them and 90% of the dogs are on their second, third or even fourth home.”

The number of calls for the XL bully to be banned in the UK has been growing in recent months, however, a group of charities have warned against taking action against one type of dog.

The Dog Control Coalition, made up of the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Association, Hope Rescue, the Kennel Club and the Scottish SPCA, instead thinks a more holistic approach is a better way forward.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Breed-specific legislation has been in force now for 32 years, and is still failing.

“We have been devastated by some recent dog bite incidents, which have been tragic events and highlight the need for urgent action and a change in approach.

“But simply adding another dog breed type to the already flawed approach of banning certain types of dog because of how they look clearly isn’t the answer.

“Any such move will just force charities to put to sleep more innocent dogs, and offer another layer to the false sense of security to the public that hasn't worked for 32 years – and won't suddenly start working now.”

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