Panorama or Petorama?

Next Monday, BBC1 8.30pm.

Britain's Unwanted Pets

Last year saw a big increase in the numbers of stray dogs recorded as being picked up in the UK. Tom Heap discovers that many of the unwanted dogs in pounds and rescues are Staffordshire bull terrier types - and asks why so many of them are being let go and destroyed.
Has the fashion for aggressive looking 'status' dogs contributed to the numbers of abandoned pets the authorities are now having to deal with? Panorama has gained access to one of the most famous animal rescues in the world, Battersea Dogs Home, and reveals the shocking truth of the numbers of dogs it is having to put to sleep.

We all know it's happening, but now the rest of the world is going to find out, too. Pounds up and down the country are full to bursting with Staffies no one wants, yet still people breed more and more.

Another disturbing programme to watch.


Alan Graham said…
I'll be tuning in for that, only hope I can watch it through, this sort of thing so enrages me.

p.s. could you retweet an iPlayer link after the show, for us forgetful types?
Yes, I will be tuning in. Though you only need to look on the Battersea website to see how any sbts are up for rehoming. However just a reminder that Battersea only puts dogs down if there are major illness or behaviour problems. Also it is one of few animal welfare orgs which takes in any dog - whatever breed, behaviour problem, etc etc. There are a number of organisations who have selective intake. (I used to volunteer and work there before I moved)
A said…
As Fiona said, Battersea is one of the very few charities to have a non-selective intake, meaning they take the dogs that other charities refuse to help. Some of these have such severe problems that Battersea do end up with a higher number of dogs being put to sleep, which is a very sad, but responsible, decision that the staff have to make.
These decisions are only made for behaviour or temperament reasons, NEVER due to space or because there are too many staffies.
I think the main thing to focus on is that this lovely breed actually make fantastic family pets and that Battersea is a brilliant charity to go and get a friendly, sociable staffie from.
People need to be aware of the problems caused by irresponsible breeding/ownership and then move on to promoting the good things about these gorgeous dogs.

I have spent a few years working at Battersea and have also worked at other animal welfare charities, but Battersea remains my favourite.
customersupport said…
It's such a shame when dogs become the victims of a fashion phase. Unfortunately, many staffies have been trained to be aggressive so rehoming can be must more difficult. I shall watch the program with an open mind!
cambstreasurer said…
I wonder how much is due to cost rather than people actually wanting to dump their dogs?

I've just done an analysis of our charity clinic's statistics for June and was startled to find a 44% increase in the number of dogs we saw compared to June 2008 (16% increase on June 2009).

There was a corresponding increase for cats, but it was much smaller (14% increase on June 2008).

I would guess that there's a combination effect of people having less money and vet fees having increased and it probably has a disproportionate effect on those groups who tend to have staffies and staffie crosses.
Chapstaff said…
Thanks for the info, I'll be watching.
The problem is that so many rescues are "full to bursting with so many Staffies no-one wants" that it leaves no spaces for other breeds/types, so unless the poor unwanted Staffies are put to sleep no other dogs would be found homes.

I wonder if Panorama has done secret filming like the "It shouldn't happen at a Vets'"

I just don't know where it will all end....:(
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
“Tom Heap discovers that many of the unwanted dogs in pounds and rescues are Staffordshire bull terrier TYPES” would those who comment please actually note it is TYPE and I am sure that due to the very little canine knowledge shown by the average (although I am sure very caring)person who works in many rescue centres that most dogs are described a SBT TYPE or Collie TYPE or a dozen or so other breed and in fact bare little or no resemblance to the named breed, indeed through breed recue I have seen dogs describe as SBT TYPE that more like a Boxer I suspect the owner of this blog will dispute that such dog won’t of been brought into rescue or picked up off the street with its Kennel Club papers or a Pedigree, but lets be honest the vast majority of these dogs never had them in the first place, they are bred by people who wont to make a quick buck and I am afraid vogue for designer dogs have made this type of breeder more acceptable to the public, who are happy to buy from someone who does not question if they indeed have a suitable lifestyle, home or indeed will be the right type of owner for the dog!!
Beverley Cuddy said…
Oh dear, it's KC Apologist Anony-mouse again!

It's not always all about you! Does it really matter whether or not the Staffies being culled have KC registration or not? Yes it's possibly of regret that you're not making dosh out of ALL of yjose bred - it is after all only the 6th most popular breed you register.

And does the life have a different value if they're 3/4 Staffies, or .666% Staffie...?

These are just dogs being routinely slaughtered after being terribly over-produced.

As a KC obsessive you may feel your conscience clear that you have done EVERYTHING you can to prevent this terrible waste of lives, but I am sure there's more all of us can do to stop this.

The Universal Puppy Contract would a very good place to start so that breeding does just mean pound signs - it means a consequence.

Watch the show Anony-mouse. Don't think any real dog lovers have any cause for complacency.
Anonymous said…
see you only want your voice heard, wonder if a few news editors would like to see just how you treat people in you blogs, and if they would then ever bother to ask you back on their programes or for comments on their papers.........we will have to drop a line to a few and see ;-)
Anonymous said…
Grow up anonymous. Just because rescue centres are not part of the kc crowd does not mean that they don't know a staffie cross when they see it.
They are not just a victim of fashion in terms of status, but of temperament. They are a good size, not too small or large and despite news coverage, have the reputation of being very good family pets and love people. It's not just being bred to be aggressive, but a complete lack of knowledge and effort to socialise them at all with other dogs. I have known some fantastic well adjusted staffs that have nothing to do with the kc.
If we are so over-run with this breed, why keep producing them - and by that I mean everyone!
The next problem dog will be the american bulldog who are growing in popularity and for the same reasons - status!
Chapstaff said…
Not that it has anything to do with the serious subject under discussion.... but I for one, KC Anon, actually admire Beverley for her honest straightforward approach & would imagine news editors would too.
The blogs aren't exactly private or "anonymous" are they. Some people have the guts to say what they think openly, rather than hiding their ID!!

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