Can you give a loving dog a home?

AN ANIMAL-LOVER from Portishead has made an impassioned plea to dog owners in the hope of reducing the high number of Staffordshire Bull Terriers in animal sanctuaries and pounds.

There are large numbers of this breed, commonly known as a staffy, needing homes across North Somerset and Suzanne Forrest is keen to make people aware of the problem.

She believes this is due to over-breeding and owners not getting their dogs neutered.

Suzanne, an animal re-homing assistant at Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary in Barrow Gurney, said: “There’s already so many out there that need homes and they are living in pounds and sanctuaries.

“I think people breed them for money and some people just don’t have the sense to neuter their dog and it ends up pregnant.

“The situation has always been bad and numbers have gone up this year.

“A lot of people come into Holly Hedge and say all we have got is staffies and they don’t want them.

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“They are such a wonderful breed, but there are just not enough good responsible owners out there to take them on. “It’s heart breaking that there’s so many and we just can’t help them all.”

There are 95 dogs waiting to go into Holly Hedge, a third of which are staffies or staffy-cross breeds.

They can be hard to re-home due to the fact some people believe they are aggressive, which is a common misconception.

Suzanne, aged 32 of Hillside Road, said: “Staffies are people orientated. They are such a kind-natured breed.

“They love people and children and the female staffies are known as the ‘nanny’ dog as they are so good with children.

“They don’t kennel well, so we have had some in the office with us and now they are my favourite dogs.”

According to Suzanne, Holly Hedge receives a high number of calls from other sanctuaries or dog pounds that need to find a home for an animal before its time is up and it has to be put to sleep.

Another issue the animal sanctuary encounters is the fact it is not allowed to re-home any dogs that could have been crossed with pitbull types that are classed as dangerous dogs.

* If you would like to give a home to an unwanted staffy call Holly Hedge Sanctuary on 01275 474719.