Shocking moment American XL Bully dog charges at police officers in Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Police say the amount of dog attacks in the area has more than doubled in the last five years
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The shocking moment an American XL Bully dog charged at police officers after being unleashed by its owner has been released.

The moment shows the officers forced to dodge the beast as it was let out of a house by a suspect they were trying to apprehend in South Yorkshire. It comes as police in the region issued a stark warning over the controversial breed, which is not banned in the UK.

South Yorkshire Police say the amount of dog attacks in the area has more than doubled in the last five years. And the breed accounts for 25 per cent of all dogs seized in the region since last January.

In one shocking incident, a woman was mauled to death by one of the two XL Bullies she bought after believing them to be 'gentle giants'.

Joanne Robinson, 43, died after being attacked in her own home in Rotherham last July. Her partner suffered serious injuries in the incident.

American XL Bully dogs involved in 'majority' of fatal dog attacks since 2021

Body cam footage of police officers being attacked by a dangerous dog during a police incident. Picture: South Yorkshire Police / SWNSBody cam footage of police officers being attacked by a dangerous dog during a police incident. Picture: South Yorkshire Police / SWNS
Body cam footage of police officers being attacked by a dangerous dog during a police incident. Picture: South Yorkshire Police / SWNS

Assistant Chief Constable Dan Thorpe, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We can’t ignore the fact that the XL bully breed is disproportionately represented in the number of dog attacks we attend. Eight of the dogs seized since January 2022, by South Yorkshire Police are XL bullies.

"Last year, 89 dogs had to be destroyed by police in the immediacy of the incident in order to protect public safety.”

Shocking data revealed the breed has been involved in the majority of fatal dog attacks in the UK since 2021.

Earlier this year, a man was mauled to death by an American XL Bully after it turned on him while he was looking after it for a friend in Leigh, Greater Manchester. Jonathan Hogg, 37, entered the dogs' pen when it went for him, leaving bite wounds on his arm, leg and head, an inquest into his death heard.

The horror attack came after a six-year-old boy in South Yorkshire was scalped by a dog only two weeks after they'd bought it from Facebook. And it follows a spate of maulings involving the breed, which shares DNA with banned American Pit Bull Terriers.

“XL Bully dogs seem to have a high propensity for aggression"

Six of the ten dog-related deaths in the UK last year were caused by Bully or Bully crosses, sparking calls from campaigners for the breed to be banned.

In March last year, 17-month-old Bella-Rae Birch was killed in her family's home in St Helens, Merseyside, just a week after they bought the dog. Schoolboy Jack Lis, 10, was killed in an attack by an XL Bully in 2021 while playing at a friend's house in Caerphilly, South Wales.

ACC Thorpe added: “XL Bully dogs seem to have a high propensity for aggression. And once they turn, even the most experienced owners have limited ability to do anything about it due to the power and strength of the breed."

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said a spike in new dog owners during the Covid pandemic could be responsible for a surge in attacks.

He said: "During the pandemic the number of dogs nationally rose from 9 million to over 12 million, with many people buying dogs for the first time with no prior experience, a lack of socialisation and no access to dog training classes during that time. These lockdown puppies have now grown into mature dogs and we are seeing the consequences.

"There are certain breeds that should not be placed in homes with children due to their unpredictability and their predisposed nature to suddenly turn and become aggressive, this becomes more apparent as the dogs reach maturity."

Dr Billings said he has raised his concerns to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, who are in direct contact with ministers.

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