XL Bullys Sheffield: Owners set to gather for group dog walk for banned breed at Rother Valley park

Event near Sheffield set to give muzzled XL Bullys a chance to play together for first time since ban
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Owners of XL Bully dogs are planning a get together with their pets, to give them a chance to play together in a popular park near Sheffield.

The animals will all be muzzled and on leads at the planned meeting at Rother Valley Country Park next month.

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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.

Rother Valley Country ParkRother Valley Country Park
Rother Valley Country Park

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.

The organiser said on a public Facebook post: "Since the horrible ban that has happened to our babies, I have seen several dog walks being arranged but struggled to find one in Sheffield for my two XLs.

"I’m hoping you will all join me with your beautiful fur babies for a friendly dog walk around rother valley to allow our dogs to still enjoy their walks."

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She said other breeds were welcome, and they would be meeting 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.

One owner, Janine Oxley, told The Star this 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.

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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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