After Hug a Hoodie, Stroke a Staffie

DON'T shy away from a Staffie - that was the message today from a Suffolk animal centre desperate to find new homes for abandoned pets.RSPCA officials at their Martlesham centre said Staffordshire bull terriers can make great pets despite a survey declaring them the most unwanted dog.

DON'T shy away from a Staffie - that was the message today from a Suffolk animal centre desperate to find new homes for abandoned pets.

RSPCA officials at their Martlesham centre said Staffordshire bull terriers can make great pets despite a survey declaring them the most unwanted dog.

The dog, which for years has been synonymous with chavs, has been declared the most unpopular dog in the East of England. That's something staff at the Mill Lane centre agree with.

Statistics revealed that the breed end up in animal centres most often, followed by German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Jack Russell Terriers.

The breed suffers from a bad reputation due to its aggressive image and its popularity as a status symbol.

However the RSPCA believes that under the right owner a Staffie can make the “perfect pet”.

Most Read

Becky Fox, deputy manager of the RSPCA animal centre in Martlesham, agrees that Staffies can be “troublesome characters”.

Miss Fox said: “Staffies are mouthy dogs, they explore and develop with their mouths, but people see that as biting and aggression.

“People don't understand the breed so they are then seen as being aggressive and troublesome. Staffordshires are not suited to people who have never owned a dog before or a family with young children.

“I think that they are so unpopular because people panic when they hear about Pitbulls biting others or fighting dogs.

“People mistake them for Pitbulls which makes the breed even more unpopular. Under the right home, Staffies are good pets.”

The RSPCA centre currently has two German Shepherds and one Staffordshire, an eight-year-old called Bridie. Bridie was brought to the centre in March with another dog who has already been re-housed.

The centre has recently re-housed a seven-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier earlier this week.

The survey showed that the most popular dogs were Labradors, closely followed by Yorkshire Terriers, Spaniels and other “small breeds”.

Miss Fox added: “Labradors are good family dogs, there an easy breed that are generally well behaved.”

If you would like to help give a Staffordshire or any other animal a home, call the centre on 01473 623280 or visit its premised in Mill Lane, Martlesham.

Do Staffies make good pets? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter