One of our patients has appeared in the Merthyr Express, to support others of his breed. Jac and his owner were interviewed to set the record straight on Staffordshire Bull terriers, a breed that the RSPCA commonly have a problem rehoming from their centres.

Family softy with a ruff reputation

Jun 12 2008 by Ian Caleb, Merthyr Express

UNWANTED and unloved – the image of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as a snarling menace is turning people away in droves.

According to latest RSPCA figures, the feisty canine is being ignored because of its supposedly aggressive and dangerous behaviour.

But in a week where the number of Staffies looking for a home is one and a half times bigger than any other dog, the charity is asking potential owners to pause for thought when plumbing for a pooch.

Ray Rees, a patron of Merthyr Tydfil’s Ash Veterinary Surgery, is the proud owner of seven-month old Jac – and has sworn by the breed for 37 years.

He said: “The idea they are nasty is rubbish. They are full of life, the most faithful, mischievous dogs you could ever find.

“They sometimes don’t like other dogs, but they are great with children.”

“It’s all about the upbringing. I hate to see them being trained to be aggressive, but they don’t know any better if they are trained to be that way.

“I bring mine up to be friendly, and they are. As long as they have been brought up that way, they make brilliant pets.”

The RSPCA Manager for Wales Kate Jones said it is bad and ill informed owners who are to blame for their reputation and, in a week where they are encouraging people to rehouse dogs, breeds such as Staffies should be considered by anyone looking for a loving companion.

She said: “Staffies have had a terrible press, but this is not of their own making – in fact they’re wonderful dogs.

“If well cared for and properly trained they can make brilliant companions.

“Our experience suggests that problems occur when bad owners exploit the Staffie’s desire to please by training them to show aggression.

“If you’re thinking of getting an animal, please visit an RSPCA centre during Pet Adoption Week – ending June 15 – and get to know one of the thousands of animals in our care.

“If you end up taking a Staffie or one of the other dogs on our most unwanted list back, you’ll know you’ve given an extra special animal a much-needed new home.”

For an information pack about adopting an animal from the RSPCA, call the dedicated Pet Adoption Week phone line on 0300 123 8484 or find out more by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/paw

The article can be found at
http://www.walesonline.co.uk