One dog owner’s campaign to stop her Staffordshire Bull Terrier being labelled as a ‘dangerous dog’ has gained global support – with pro-Staffie demonstrations set to be held here at home and on the other side of the world.
Natalie Winstanley, from Chorley, has organised an awareness event on Saturday, July 28, where she and other Staffie owners will get together to spread awareness as a result of animal rights group PETA urging government ministers to add the dogs to the list of dangerous dogs – meaning it would be illegal to breed them.
“It’s so upsetting. PETA are meant to care about all animals,” 22-year-old Natalie explained. “It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Natalie has a one year-old Staffie puppy called Hunter that she says “would not harm a fly”.
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She added that bad dog behaviour comes down to nurture and not nature.
“Dogs are like children,” Natalie said.
“If you hurt and abuse a child they wont turn out well.”
And the event has gathered that much traction a second event is being organised in Mexico for the same day.
Natalie said: “I got the idea for it on Facebook and we thought it would be great to get events going on in different towns.
“It’s now gone as far as Mexico with Mexican TV wanting to cover our campaign.
“We just want to raise awareness. If you are coming along just make sure your dog is safe – like any dog owner would. People can come up and ask us questions.”
Mimi Bekhechi, PETA’s Director of International Programmes, said: “Staffies are currently flooding UK animal shelters and have become by far the most commonly abandoned breed of dog in the country.
“They’re also one of the most abused – in fact, the RSPCA has confirmed that 80% of its cruelty-to-animals prosecutions concern Staffies.
“The breed is also the most likely to be abducted and used by criminal gangs for fighting rings or as guard dogs.
“Given how vulnerable these dogs are to abuse, neglect, and abandonment, why would anyone fight the introduction of legislation that would prevent people from bringing more of them into a world that treats many so cruelly?”