Animal shelter inundated with requests to rehome American XL Bullies

An animal shelter has been inundated with requests to rehome XL Bully dogs, with some owners saying they’ll put their pets down if they can’t get help.

Large Breed Dog Rescue, based in Greenhithe, Kent is urging people not to panic after having to turn down 25 American XL Bullies in the last week alone.

Jo Woods has been volunteering for the charity for the last decade and says it is the worst she’s seen, with around 15 requests a week to rehome XL Bully dogs.

Founded in 2004, it rescues and rehomes large and giant breed dogs – many of which have been abused, mistreated or had no training.

She said: “You have all these people who bought the wrong type of dog during Covid.

“They haven’t trained them and are now finding that they have a rambunctious teenage dog in their house that needs specific skills to manage it.

“Now the rescue world is being flooded with these dogs.”

Strict non-destruction policy

The American XL Bully is set to be banned by the end of the year following a series of attacks – including a man being killed in Staffordshire last week.

Owners of the dog will not see their pets culled but will likely face new restrictions – including a requirement to have the dogs neutered and muzzled and on a lead when in public.

They will also need to be insured.

Before the law can come in, it needs to be recognised as a specific breed in the UK – something police, vets and other experts are currently working to define.

The American Bully Kennel Club defines it as a crossbreed of the American Pit Bull Terrier, Olde English Bulldogge, English Bulldog and the American Bulldog.

Jo says Cane Corso and XL Bullies are the breeds they receive the most calls and emails about daily.

The charity has a strict non-destruction policy and will never euthanise unless advised by a vet due to ill health.

Jo added: “We are being offered on average 15 XL Bullies a week.

“Generally they will contact us and say, ‘well I’m going to put it down if you can’t take it’.

“We physically haven’t got the space to take on a dog that may take us months to rehome, or if you get a biter – nobody is going to want to take that on easily. It’s a bit like the hospital bed blocking.”

Despite being based in Kent, they will also take in pooches from across England, Scotland and Wales.

The charity also wants to reassure those who own an XL Bully, with their main message being “do not panic”.