Facebook pages and pet sites fill up with ads as owners of XL Bullies are panicking and giving away their dogs for free ahead of a government ban on the deadly breed
Some desperate XL Bully owners are trying to give their dogs away for free online before the ban on the breed kicks in.
We found more than 700 American Bullies – which the XL breed falls under – for sale on websites such as Gumtree and Pets4Homes.
One ad on Pets4Homes asked £10 for a nine-month XL Bully in Bristol but added: “He is going for FREE in the hope we can find him a new forever loving home as opposed to being put down due to this horrible ban.”
The same site had an ad for a £75 six-month-old XL in Rotherham, South Yorks, but added: “We are not looking for any money…just the perfect home.”
The breed could fetch £5,000 until the Government said in September it will be banned from February 1.
Gumtree listed over 50 XL Bullies with some owners “open for offers”. A breeder in Doncaster, South Yorks, offers 12 puppies for £450 due to “this stupid ban”. And the owner of a dog selling for £100 in Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham, said: “It’d be a shame to have him put down.”
We also saw Facebook posts by people giving XL Bullies away. A woman in Northumberland wrote: “I ain’t asking for any money just a good loving home.” Another post said: “Need a loving home for American Bully XL. Not asking for money.”
Experts warn the rush to ditch the dogs means they could fall into dangerous hands. The Kennel Club’s Ed Hayes said the situation was due to “the inadvisably short time frame given to comply with the legislation”.
Only those with a certificate of exemption, who comply with strict conditions, avoid the ban. Owners who put dogs down due to the law can claim £200 compensation. Dr Hayes added: “There will be those desperate to ensure dogs are in the right homes and those not interested in the law.” Dogs Trust added the “panicked sale of puppies was a predictable consequence of this ban”.
The ban follows a spate of deaths and injuries caused by the breed. Last week, police shot a dog that attacked two people in Halifax, West Yorks. Gumtree said it has strict pet posting policies and the ban “will be enforced by our safety team”.
Pets4Homes said XLs on their site cannot be sold for less than £200 and they had either removed or changed adverts once we alerted them. Facebook owner Meta said: “We do not allow the sale of animals on our platforms and remove this content as soon as we become aware of it.”