XL Bully ban: Scottish SPCA 'urgently' seeking homes for its last four bullies - before rehoming ban kicks in

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
There are less than two weeks to go before the charity is no longer able to rehome Duchess, Praline, Paddington or Lex

The Scottish SPCA is desperately trying to find homes for the last four XL bully-type dogs in its care, with just days to go until it is no longer allowed to rehome them.

This comes as Scotland's government set out dates for the country's impending ban on the controversial breed. It is set to mirror the England and Wales ban which took a two-phase approach, coming into full force at the beginning of February. From next Friday (23 February), XL bully-type dogs can no longer be rehomed at all in Scotland - whether this be via buying or selling, adoption, or giving away. All XL bullies must also wear a muzzle and a leash when out in public.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The UK government took aim at XL bullies, a fairly new breed derived, in part, from pit bulls, last September, on the back of two serious attacks - including the death of Staffordshire man Ian Price. Sadly, there have been other attacks and even another fatality linked to the breed as recently as this month. Scotland's First Minister, Humza Yousaf last month announced a similar ban, in part, due to "a flow of XL bully dogs coming to Scotland, [and] a number of people coming to Scotland to bring XL bully dogs here to the country" as England's ban loomed south of the border.

The Scottish SPCA says it still has four XL bullies in its care, which need to find loving, responsible homes as soon as possible. Jennie Macdonald, head of rehoming and fostering, said: “As Scottish Government advice stands at present, it will become illegal for us to rehome these dogs if they have not found homes by 23 February."

The SSPCA has four dogs left which are likely to fall under the XL bully ban, and just days to rehome them (Photo: SSPCA)The SSPCA has four dogs left which are likely to fall under the XL bully ban, and just days to rehome them (Photo: SSPCA)
The SSPCA has four dogs left which are likely to fall under the XL bully ban, and just days to rehome them (Photo: SSPCA) | SSPCA

The four dogs which might meet the government's physical characteristic standard for XL bully-types are located at the Aberdeenshire, Glasgow and Lanarkshire rescue and rehoming centres, she said, and are named Duchess, Praline, Paddington and Lex. All of them have undergone enhanced behavioural assessments with the SSPCA's behaviour team, and have been microchipped, neutered, and given a clean bill of health.

“Duchess is three years old and is happiest when she is sitting as close to you as possible, and loves to sneak the occasional kiss. Affection is her favourite thing and it is impossible not to give her it," Ms Macdonald said. “She enjoys getting plenty of walks and playing with her toys, so she will need a relatively active home with a secure outdoor area where she can enjoy some off lead time. Duchess could potentially live in a home with teenagers, pending successful introductions at the centre."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She described Praline as a "sweet and affectionate young girl" who loved a fuss. "She will happily sit on command if there’s a tasty snack involved as a reward. She is doing really well with her ongoing training, and walks well on her harness and lead. She has been introduced to a few of the centre dogs and seems happy to meet them."

Praline is currently being muzzle trained, and will also need a home with older children where she's the only pet. "Praline is very well handled and has impeccable manners. All she is looking for in life is a comfortable place to rest her big pretty head."

Ms Macdonald said Paddington’s favourite things were long walks with his friends, picking up new tricks, and endless amounts of toys to play with. “He shows his love and affection with his big waggy tail and smiling face. He can’t wait to show off to his new family and would love to continue learning lots more tricks. He’s a clever boy and picks things up really quickly, which makes training lots of fun."

Paddington was polite and playful with other dogs, she said, and could share his home with a canine companion, pending successful introductions. So too could Lex, who she described as a "fantastic young dog" with a heart of gold. "He loves going on adventures and playing with his favourite toys...Lex has come on so far with his positive reinforcement training, so his new home should have enough experience to be able to continue this once he has been rehomed."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

SSPCA head of animal behaviour, Claire Haynes, added: “All our animals for rehoming go thorough comprehensive medical and behavioural assessments. This has been an ongoing process for some months with our XL bully type dogs while the situation in Scotland has been unknown.

After an enhanced assessment, Duchess and Praline met the physical XL bully standards, she continued, while Paddington and Lex were still to be formally assessed - but likely would. “The new registered owners will be required to obtain a certificate of exemption and to comply with all necessary legal requirements, which will include keeping the dog on a lead and muzzled at all times when out in public, including in a car, and maintaining third party insurance."

The charity continued its call against breed-specific legislation, and for the country's "outdated" Dangerous Dogs law to be overhauled. "Any breed of dog can be potentially out of control and dangerous in the wrong hands," Ms Haynes said.

You can find out more about adopting any of these dogs by clicking their name at the bottom of this webpage.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.