Pensioner attacked by XL Bully calls for ban as people look for law loophole

A pensioner who was viciously attacked by an XL Bully has urged the Scottish government to ban the dangerous breed.

Agnes Donaldson, 63, from Glasgow was the victim of a ferocious attack in May this year and witnessed her four-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Milly killed in the process. Her plea comes after a Sunday Mail investigation revealed that owners of dogs with a history of violence are trying to find them a new home in Scotland as new laws in England come into effect on December 31.

Such are the demands for XL Bully dogs to be rehomed in Scotland currently, shelter centres have said they're "inundated" by requests to take them in. Agnes is among those hoping that the Scottish government can put a stop to the influx of the beasts making their way into the country.

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Speaking of the attack that happened earlier this year she said: “I’ll never forget that day. The Scottish Government must ban these dogs here, of course they should.

"Otherwise yes they’re going to come here and there will be more attacks, it can’t happen to anyone else. Milly was my best friend, my family and she was murdered.

“I had to get a metal plate in my wrist and I’ve only got 70 to 80% use of the arm now. I’ve never been the same since.”

The huge number of XL Bully dogs that have made their way over the border in recent months have been rehomed with charities as well as avid pet owners.

One owner who was trying to find a new home for their XL Bully in Scotland said in a post on Facebook: "He has attacked my resident dog and isn’t good with other animals. He is extremely reactive outside and I cannot walk him due to this. He needs time and training and a garden.”

While, Kerryanne Shaw, the manager at the All Bullie Charity Rescue centre in Glasgow has spoken of how overwhelmed they have become by requests to take dogs from England.

She said: "We’re inundated about it, absolutely inundated. We’ve had a few runs bringing dogs up so far. A lot of people aren’t able to afford the process of the exemption – it’s £92 to apply for that certificate and there’s no guarantee owners will be accepted. After the 31st December then those dogs will legally no longer be allowed to be rehomed."

She added: “The laws also mean people have to get the dogs neutered by a certain date and for a dog of that size it could cost easily £400. It’s a costly thing.”

Shaw also believes that a blanket ban of XL Bully dogs isn't the right way to take the issue saying: “There are problems in every single breed. Just because it’s an XL Bully doesn’t mean it’s a given they will have behavioural issues. There are reactive Chihuahuas and Lhasa Apsos as well."

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She added: “People really don’t understand the breed and don’t do their research on training.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Scottish Government said ministers expected the UK Government to ensure “there is no impact on Scotland” as a result of the ban.

He was unable to point out how Westminster would stop Scots bringing dogs from England, but said: “Public safety is paramount to our deliberations. Scotland already has a dog control notice regime that is unique in the UK and focussed on preventing dog attacks from happening in the first place."

He added: “The UK Government announced the proposal to ban XL Bullies without any notice to the Scottish Government and we expect the UK Government to act responsibly and ensure there is no impact on Scotland of its decision to ban the XL Bully dog. Any change to the rules must be evidenced based and we are moving swiftly to carefully consider the evidence so we can make the right decision for Scotland.”

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