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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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‘Backyard breeders’ put unwanted Cumbria dogs in peril

A PACK of Staffordshire bull terriers living behind bars face an uncertain future as irresponsible backyard breeders place unprecedented pressure on Barrow’s kennels.

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HOMELESS Some of the 10 abandoned Staffies at North Scale kennels with Jevon Turner

Some of the 10 dogs have been on doggy death row for months as both the council and Animal Refuge Furness try without success to find them suitable new homes.

Jevon Turner, an assistant at the Walney-based pound, said “massive overbreeding” was to blame for a spike in the number of “Staffies” being dumped in recent months.

“Backyard breeders are breeding them more and more and more,” he said. “Staffies have quite big litters and out of every litter we probably end up with a couple of them.

“People are just abandoning them. They have been dumped in the community. Some have been found tied to a fence and some have been found roaming around parks.”

Mr Turner said Staffies were generally not an easy breed to find new homes for as many people were deterred by their “unfair” reputation for aggression.

“When people come, usually the first thing they’ll say to me at the gate is that they don’t want a Staffie,” he said. “That’s just because they’ve heard stuff on the news. Staffordshires carry a lot of stigmas and it’s not really fair. I wouldn’t re-home a dog that’s not safe.”

Barrow Borough Council has the legal right to destroy any dogs that have not been claimed by their owners within a week. But Animal Refuge pays the council about £60 a day to extend the dogs’ lives and give them every chance to be saved.

Mr Turner said he believed there should be tougher guidelines surrounding the breeding of dogs to prevent so many unwanted dogs being dumped.

“I think people should have to get a licence to breed because they shouldn’t be able to knock out litter after litter after litter just to make money,” he said.

“It’s the dogs that suffer. These people give the breed a bad name and they’re not a bad dog.”

Anyone interested in rescuing a dog can call the kennels on 01229 474450 or contact Animal Refuge Furness on greenys@talk21.com or 01229 832500.

Have your say

Poor things. I was afraid this would happen with the "Staffie" craze amongst chavs. A dog is a living being, not a fashion accessory.

Posted by Cloud on 25 June 2013 at 01:02

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