XL Bullys Rother Valley walk: Readers split over plans to bring dogs to play together at park near Sheffield

Readers share their views on plans to bring XL Bullys together to play at Rother Valley Park near Sheffield
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Readers’ views are split over plans to bring XL Bullys together to play with each other at a popular park near Sheffield.

Owners are hoping to meet up at Rother Valley Country Park later this month to give their pets, muzzled and on leads, the chance to play together at the popular venue near Beighton.

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Readers who saw the story shared their thoughts on the plans on The Star's social media pages, with some praising a great idea, and others expressing concerns about the idea.

Rother Valley country park entrance near BeightonRother Valley country park entrance near Beighton
Rother Valley country park entrance near Beighton

Kim McMain said: "Brilliant - let the dogs be dogs."

Keith Tyree added: "Good that they can meet with muzzles on." He added he did not think it was a dangerous breed in the right hands and under control, but it was a powerful dog that needed a responsible owner.

Paul Archer was less supportive. He said: "This seems like a recipe for disaster."

Steven Owen added: "I’ll keep my dog locked up on that day."

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It comes three months after strict new laws were put in place banning the breed, meaning all the dogs had to be neutered and cannot go out without muzzles and leads, following reports of attacks by the breed.

Many owners say the issue is bad owners, not the dogs.

The XL Bully Dog Walk is planned for Saturday, April 20 at 11am, and has been promoted on social media as a chance to meet others and allow the dogs to still enjoy their walks.

Owners plan to meet at the Grant and McAllin entrance, before taking a walk around the lake and visiting the cafe.

It comes at a time when owners of XL Bullys have told the The Star of the difficulties they have faced since the ban, as well as the costs they have run up.

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One owner, Janine Oxley, told The Star last month how while people once petted her dog, they now picked up their children or crossed the street to avoid him. She said the first time she had taken her pet out for a walk after the ban came into force, she was reduced tears by the way another dog owner treated her and her pet.

Janine has also raised concerns about the high cost of pet health insurance for the breed, as well as other financial pressures that the breed's owners now face since the ban came in at the beginning of the year.

She said: "I understand why people have been concerned, and understand something needed to be done. But I feels that the laws should have targeted dog owners, not the dogs, perhaps bringing in strict licences. I supports the return of dog licences, which were scrapped in 1987, and feel Bruno no longer lives the happy life he did previously."

Meanwhile, Sheffield businessman Michael Hill has created a dog park where people can take their XL Bullys to run free in a secure, sealed off field.

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