Staffies crisis at East Lancashire animal shelters

Blackburn Citizen: Willow the deaf Staffie whispers into Bleakholt worker Hannah Wayward’s ear     Picture: JOHN MILLS Willow the deaf Staffie whispers into Bleakholt worker Hannah Wayward’s ear Picture: JOHN MILLS

THE number of Staffordshire dogs being abandoned by their owners is at a 20-year high, according to an East Lancashire animal sanctuary.

Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary currently has 31 dogs housed at its kennels in Edenfield after an influx during the past few months.

The waiting list for dogs being accepted into the sanctuary has also jumped from two weeks to almost 10, piling the pressure on the already ‘full to bursting’ kennels.

Michael Wardle, who is in charge of the dogs section at the sanctuary, said: “The situation is the worst that I have seen in my 20 years here.

“The sanctuary is full to bursting and it’s piling on a lot of pressure on us.

“The waiting list is getting bigger and bigger and it’s hard to cope.

“The recent bad press about Staffordshire dogs has had a real impact on people’s decisions and they just don’t want that breed of dog anymore.

“We have seen a huge increase in dogs over the last five months.

“People seem not to be able to cope with having them anymore and don’t want to be seen as being a bad owner.

“It’s becoming increasingly hard to re-home these dogs because less and less people want to have them as pets.”

Margaret Wild, a trustee at the sanctuary, said: “It’s becoming harder and harder to re-home these dogs.

“There has been a lot of bad publicity recently surrounding these dogs and that has resulted in a large number being taken to the sanctuary.

“It’s very sad that this has been happening.”

RSPCA chiefs said the number of abandoned bull breeds had also increased.

Steve Carpenter, deputy manager at the RSPCA Animal Centre, in Altham, said: “We are finding it is a big problem with all bull breeds, not just Staffies.

“Before Christmas all we had available for re-homing were bull breeds, but a lot of people don’t want them anymore.

“People are getting rid of them and not wanting to adopt them because of recent events.

“Certain people have turned them into a status dog and people are now wrongly thinking they are aggressive, when in the right hands they are not.”

Comments (3)

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12:50pm Mon 24 Mar 14

Linda1966 says...

My husband and I had a staffie which sadly died after 13 years. We went to Bleak Holt after she died to try to rehome another staffie and was told that because we work for over 4 hours per day we were not suitable. I'm not surprised they are overrun with dogs.
My husband and I had a staffie which sadly died after 13 years. We went to Bleak Holt after she died to try to rehome another staffie and was told that because we work for over 4 hours per day we were not suitable. I'm not surprised they are overrun with dogs. Linda1966
  • Score: 4

2:37pm Mon 24 Mar 14

site supervisor says...

you could get someone to dog sit,( if its only for 4 hours).it does seem a little petty as most dogs would sleep .Try dog trust at Leeds they where very help full with our dog that we have had for 12 months now
good luck
you could get someone to dog sit,( if its only for 4 hours).it does seem a little petty as most dogs would sleep .Try dog trust at Leeds they where very help full with our dog that we have had for 12 months now good luck site supervisor
  • Score: 2

12:07am Tue 25 Mar 14

Pat Howarth says...

Many of the rescues are their own worst enemy. Lots of people leave their dogs for 4 hours a day.......the dog will probably sleep for most of that time anyway....they're not like us, sleep at night and awake all day....they're dogs....sleep when they feel like it.
Sometimes I wonder where these people get their daft ideas from....they seem to be making it hard for folks to give a good home to a sad rescue dog......please think about the time when they people are with the dog, how happy it will be....much happier than stuck in kennels in a shelter.
Many of the rescues are their own worst enemy. Lots of people leave their dogs for 4 hours a day.......the dog will probably sleep for most of that time anyway....they're not like us, sleep at night and awake all day....they're dogs....sleep when they feel like it. Sometimes I wonder where these people get their daft ideas from....they seem to be making it hard for folks to give a good home to a sad rescue dog......please think about the time when they people are with the dog, how happy it will be....much happier than stuck in kennels in a shelter. Pat Howarth
  • Score: 0

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