The Julia Taylor Staffie Trust t/a "Save a Staffie Scotland" has been formed by a group of people who have spent years working for other dog rescues and have come to the conclusion that a new approach to the trouble the breed finds itself in is needed.
"The work that rescues do is admirable, but we believe that more radical action is required to alleviate the difficulty of too many Staffies and too few homes."
Swapped For A Bicycle
Taking a Staffie from a home where it is no longer wanted, is abused or abandoned or is awaiting a death sentence in a pound certainly helps the dogs which are immediately involved. However, this does nothing for those which are still out there, being over-bred, sold to supplement benefits or exchanged for drugs, or even, as in one recent case, swapped for a bicycle.
Equally, rehoming on a home to home basis runs the constant risk of having to put a rejected dog in boarding kennels because the original owner will not take the dog back or the original home is not a place to which the dog should be returned.
A Better Solution
Boarding is not ideal, not only because Staffies are so focussed on human company that they do not do well in long term kennelling and costs are considerable. A better solution is to find a foster home but these tend to be hard to find and self-limiting because, sooner or later, they keep the dog, which is ideal for the dog but means that the foster home is gone.
More effort is needed to persuade the Scottish Parliament that something has to be done to introduce and enforce effective legislation to control the breeding of not only Staffies but all breeds.
We are certain that the problems facing the Staffie affected Dobermans, German Shepherds and Rottwiellers in the past and will involve Akitas and American Bulldogs in the future. This is not a dog problem, this is a social problem.
The only way to avoid the problem of returned dogs is to have a centre where Staffies can be kept and cared for whilst awaiting rehoming.
It is our intention to raise funds to create such a centre, where training issues can be addressed, dogs can be socialised if necessary, and prospective new owners can be introduced; to lobby the Parliament to change legislation and to promote responsible and sensible dog ownership by education, promotion of good news in the media and holding awareness events.
Through the build up period, we will continue to rehome dogs on a home to home basis. Our long term objectives remains to obtain suitable premises to establish a "place of safety" for the dogs.
We will also not exclude other breeds and cross breeds in circumstances where it seems appropriate to re-home them too, for example if another breed or cross breed is in a home with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and there is a need to re-home both dogs, we will not refuse to deal with the other breed or cross breed.