An animal rescue charity has launched a poignant Christmas appeal to help dogs with the worst reputation in the country.
Volunteer-run All Bullie Rescue concentrates on the ‘Bull’ breeds - everything from staffies and bulldogs to mastiffs and American Bull Terriers.
While many people see these breeds as dogs from hell, the vast majority of them are actually angels, say the charity’s volunteers.
“These breeds have a bad reputation and it is difficult to re-home them,” said Shirley Fitzsimmons, who became involved with the charity after adopting a dog from them.
Her Staffordshire bull Terrier Dipsy was found abandoned and shivering outside a Bletchley shop after being shot with a BB gun.
“She was saved by All Bullie Rescue and spent seven months in kennels until she found a home. She is the most affectionate, gentle and loyal dog ever - which is the true nature of the breed in the right hands,” said Shirley.
“At first she was so thin because she’d been so stressed that she couldn’t hold any food down. But she’s wonderful now. She sleeps on my elderly mother’s bed and she’s even really bonded with my two cats. I’m just smitten!”
The city-based rescue is collecting shoe boxes filled with treats and toys to take to the dogs in its emergency boarding kennels in Luton on Saturday December 17. Volunteers then plan to take them all out on an extra-long Christmas walk.
“We’re hoping positive publicity about these breeds might prompt readers to donate food or bedding or perhaps volunteers to walk the dogs,” said Shirley.
“Even if there was one reader who saw this story and offered a home to one of these dogs, it would mean the world.”
The charity is also desperate for foster homes to help care for the dogs, many of which have been badly treated in the past and are stressed in the kennel environment.
For more details, and to view dogs needing homes, visit www. allbullierescue.co.uk.