Owner of Exeter XL bully defends breed as he fosters pup


Richard Mohammed said he never saw aggression in his dogs

An XL bully owner from Exeter who fostered a dog with a Birmingham family has defended the breed as “loving” and “gentle”.

A breed ban takes effect Dec. 31, with property owners needing an exemption to avoid criminal prosecution.

The government banned the crossbreeding in October under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, following an increase in fatal attacks.

The government said it had taken “swift and decisive action” to protect the public.

Owners must decide for themselves whether their dog is bully XL by comparing it to government guidelines, which include certain measurements, to claim an exemption.


Drax now lives in Exeter after his previous family put him up for adoption

Richard Mohammed and his partner Sammy have an exempt XL bully called Bane and they adopted puppy Drax in October, a suspected XL bully.

The dog was from two tyrannical XL parents, but Mr Mohammed said the dog was smaller than government requirements.

“They are just the cutest puppies and the most adorable dogs,” he said.

“You don’t hear about the ones who run away from people, who are beaten, abandoned, or the ones the RSPCA takes in who are really mistreated.”

Dr Sam Gaines, from the RSPCA, said: “We have unfortunately started to see an increase in abandonments; we unfortunately left dogs in our centers. »

Michelle Jordan, of Exeter’s Pads for Pooches, who rehomed Drax, said: “Until the ban came into force, we were never asked by a council, pound or vets to rehome an XL because he had been abandoned.

“Since October we’ve had about 12 and we’re just a small rescue.”


Michelle Jordan helped Drax rehouse Richard and his partner

She said that before October, the owners had asked them to help rehouse “seven or eight” XL bullies.

“Since October, we are now at around 37 or 38,” she said.

Sue Smith, of K9 Crusaders in Cornwall, said she was “inundated with calls from distressed owners” fearing their bull dog breeds, including Staffordshire bull terriers, could be banned.

She said: “I have spoken to people suffering from worry to the point where they can no longer eat, sleep or function normally.

“Some are experiencing new hostility within their own community, with people pointing fingers, giving disapproving glances and crossing the road to avoid the dog they were happily caring for yesterday.”

Mr Mohammed said his partner also received hostility while walking his dog.

“One guy just yelled in the car as he was driving by: ‘We need to put him to sleep.’ It was overwhelming. I was quite shocked.

Image source, Richard Mohammed


Richard Mohammed’s dogs, Bane and Drax

The RSPCA, K9 Crusaders, Pads 4 Pooches and Mr Mohammed said the breed-specific ban was not working.

“It falsely misleads the public into thinking that a type of dog or breed of dog is inherently aggressive when that is not the case,” Dr. Gaines said.

She said it also resulted in “unintentional harm to many dogs whose behavior would never pose a risk to public safety.”

Starting December 31, it will be illegal to sell, abandon, give away, breed or possess an XL bully in public without a leash or muzzle.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson said there had been an increase in dog attacks, with bully XL “disproportionately involved”.

He adds: “That is why we have taken decisive action to add XL bully breeds to the list of breeds prohibited by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, which we are confident will reduce the risk to the public.”

The department said it was trying to tackle dog control issues across all breeds and was working with the Responsible Dog Ownership Task Force after “considering the role of education and training to reduce the risk of dog attacks.


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