The SCOTTISH SPCA recently launched a national campaign to encourage potential dog owners across the county to consider taking on a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The first ever ‘Staffie Awareness Week’ ran last week and members of the public were invited to visit the SSPCA re-homing centre at Petterden to meet some of the gentle and affectionate staffies in its care.
Almost half the dogs rescued and cared for by the Scottish SPCA are Staffordshire bull terriers or similar crossbreeds and the charity says it is disappointed, but not surprised by the response.
Of those surveyed who said they would consider re-homing a dog, only 13 per cent said they were likely to consider taking on a Staffordshire bull terrier or staffie cross. A staggering 75 per cent said they were unlikely to give a staffie a home while 12 per cent were undecided.
The Scottish SPCA has also revealed that it takes twice as long to re-home a staffie compared to other breeds of dog. A Staffordshire bull terrier will spend, on average, 54 days in the charity’s care before it is found a new home, while all other breeds take an average of 26 days to be re-homed.
Currently there are 93 Staffordshire bull terriers and staffie crossbreeds waiting for a loving home at the Scottish SPCA’s animal rescue and re-homing centres throughout Scotland.
Manager of the charity’s Angus, Fife and Tayside Animal Rescue and Re-homing Centre, Sharon Comrie, said, “The results of our research aren’t surprising, though they are very disappointing.
“Many of those who told us they wouldn’t take on a staffie said it was because they think the breed is dangerous and can’t be trusted.
“This is sadly a reflection of what we often hear when people visit our rescue centres and say they are looking for a dog but it can’t be a staffie.
“Yet the Staffordshire bull terrier is inherently no more aggressive than any other breed of dog. In fact, staffies tend to be gentle, affectionate and loyal and it’s a tragedy so many of these fantastic dogs are in kennels and usually have to wait longer than other breeds to find new homes.
Anyone interested in offering a staffie a good home can call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999 or visit scottishspca.org/re-homing.