Mary backs Battersea Dogs and Cats Home campaign
Mary Creagh MP showed off her softer side on Wednesday 23 November, meeting loveable Battersea Staffies at the Houses of Parliament. Mary is lending her support to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s campaign to tackle public misconceptions surrounding Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The leading animal charity took in 2,470 stray and unwanted Staffies last year, and like rescue organisations and local authorities across the UK it is struggling to deal with the sheer number of Staffies needing its help.
Staffies have become stigmatised by a minority of irresponsible owners who have used the dog as a status symbol or a weapon. However Battersea is keen to prove that in the right hands, they are loyal and loving pets.
Mary said: “Staffies have unfairly been branded with a bad reputation. Irresponsible breeders have given this breed a bad name and now local authorities and charities like Battersea are struggling to deal with the consequences. Staffies are softer than many may think.”
Battersea‘s three centres are filled with Staffies in desperate need of being given a second chance in a loving new home. Last year 41% of the dogs that came into the Home’s care were Staffies and Staffie crosses. Contrary to popular opinion, Staffies crave human interaction and affection and can therefore find life in kennels stressful and frustrating.
Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive, said: “Staffies have been dealt a cruel hand these days, to the extent that more people consider the dog to be a fighting dog than a family dog. It’s time we gave the breed a chance and got to know Staffies for the lovely, friendly dog they really are.
“Staffies are keen to please their owners and it is a sad fact that some people have taken advantage of their good nature to create dangerous dogs. As well as working with proud, responsible owners to highlight the positive qualities of the breed, it is vital that we tackle the problem at its source, Staffies will only stand a chance if we dispel the notion of a dog as weapon or accessory in youth groups and inner-city communities.”
For more information about rehoming a Staffie at any of Battersea’s three sites visit www.battersea.org.uk/staffie