Strays and lost/found dogs in pounds

If there is a (genuine) owner of a potentially prohibited type stray which is in the council contracted kennels serving the statutory 7 clear days, we urge them to claim her dog, they will need some proof that it is indeed her dog to do so (photos in the home over time, microchip details, vet records etc). Please claim them, your dog’s life depends upon it.
The dog may not be immediately released as a breach has occurred (unmuzzled in public place after 31st December) but it will then be investigated by the police who can deal with the breach in the way they see fit which could be anything from advisory but ‘could’ also include a prosecution under section one. The owner MAY have a defence to this depending on circumstances but in any event whilst there is a presumption in favour of destruction the court does have the power to order a contingent destruction order and that the dog is exempted providing the owner can satisfy the court that they are a fit and proper person, that the dog can be kept securely, and that it poses no danger to public safety. However, if a dog remains unclaimed then there is no other legal option open other than to put to sleep.
The injunction secured on 30th December 2023 applies to Rehoming Organizations but not to dogs found straying or abandoned. Ordinarily a stray dog who remained unclaimed after the statutory 7 clear days held in the pound would be then either sold, released to be rehomed, or put to sleep which are the ONLY options available to councils under the stray dogs regulations, However IF this dog is an XL Bully or other prohibited breed type (or there is sufficient presumption that it is, ) then the local authority would be breaking the law if they were to release it to rescue or sell it as of the 31st December 2023.
Stray dogs across the country who were still doing their days after the 31st (and those which have entered the stray system since) who remain unclaimed at the end of the 7 clear days have sadly been and will continue to be put to sleep because the law prevents any other option. If a dog of type gets out or is stolen then the owner needs to register their claim to it and provide proof of ownership, whilst they COULD be charged under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 the dog cannot be put to sleep in the interim period providing the owner does not sign over their dog. If the owner was not responsible for the breach and it is known who was, then the person who caused the breach could be charged but the owner would have a right to be heard at that hearing with regard to the dogs future and would be able to ask the court to allow exemption of the dog rather than order destruction subject to the courts satisfaction.
People who find a dog may be discouraged from retaining it as finder because the dog must be kept for a period of 28 days which would now take them beyond the time limit to exempt before it becomes unlawful to be in possession of a prohibited breed.
Please do not direct hate at Dog Wardens, local authorities, or pounds, most are devastated to have to do this but simply have no other option available, target your anger at those who abandoned their dogs to this fate instead of being responsible and exempting.

XL Bully neutering

With the deadline for the XL Bully type dogs and the owner led exemption process by the 31st of January fast approaching, we are writing to inform you of some financial support towards neutering costs for owners in need.

As you will be aware owners can exempt their dog before neutering (see but need to provide evidence of neutering by the following dates:

  • For dogs less than 1 year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024
  • For dogs older than 1 year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 30 June 2024

For some owners the cost of neutering may be a barrier to exemption. Blue Cross, Battersea and RSPCA have developed a joint scheme to support responsible owners, with well cared for dogs, for whom the cost of neutering is prohibitive. We hope this will help avoid situations where owners might otherwise choose euthanasia.Owners will need to demonstrate that they have gone through the other stages of the exemption process.

The scheme will be managed through the Blue Cross’s Veterinary Care Fund and will launch  on 5 February 2024. In the interim, RSPCA branches are providing vouchers where a more urgent need is identified.

Practices can apply online on behalf of their clients and the charities will provide up to a maximum £250 towards the cost of neutering eligible XL Bully type dogs. The amount of the award will vary based on the dog’s gender and procedure. Payment will be made directly to the veterinary practice.

While we understand the pressure that practices are under at the moment, we would be grateful if you could support owners in need by meeting the requirements of the exemption process and help keep pets and their people together.

As of the 31st of December rescues can no longer rehome XL Bully type dogs, so while we understand that practices and vets may not want to euthanise healthy animals we are afraid that rescue organisations can no longer help these dogs. We would ask that you consider what is likely to be in the best welfare interests of the dog. We are now seeing an increase in abandonments, putting even great pressure on our teams who are dealing with the heartbreaking reality for dogs they have been caring for.

Exemption rules

Judging by the number of calls we received yesterday and this morning it seems that one incident being shared without much detail on Facebook has created a massive amount of confusion amongst owners regarding leashing and muzzling. It was stated that the muzzling requirement became active as soon as you exempted your dog, this is incorrect but in itself does no harm as muzzling a dog early and before the deadline is not an issue, however it seems that people are believing that this means that until you exempt your dog you do not have to muzzle and leash THIS IS NOT THE CASE and some people are considering delaying exempting until the last minute on that basis which puts you in a position where you can be criminally charged and your dog is at risk.
We must make this absolutely clear that regardless as to whether or not you have exempted your dog yet if it has substantial characteristics of an XL Bully type then it had to be muzzled and leashed in public from 00.01am on Sunday morning, failure to do so could in the next few weeks lead to the seizure of your dog and if charges are brought against you they will be criminal charges as civil applications cannot be used until it becomes illegal to own, possess, or keep an XL Bully due to the wording in section 4 of the Act.

For information purposes
The Statutory instrument made on 31st October 2023 designated the XL Bully as a prohibited breed under section one of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 with the commencement date of 31st December 2023 and within section one is contained the requirement to muzzle and leash therefore from the date the breed is added the muzzle and leash requirement must be adhered to. The exemption rules were made in parliament on the 14th November and allow owners to exempt dogs from the prohibition these also contain the requirement to muzzle and leash in the rules however a dog can only be exempted from the prohibition once the prohibition takes effect (00.01 31st December) which is why all of the government guidance states that dogs must be muzzled from then it does NOT state they must be muzzled as soon as owners apply for exemption from the prohibition BEFORE the breed is prohibited.



Owners and rescues please be aware that the XL Bully is added to section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act from the 31st Dec and with law that generally means (unless a time is stated) from 00.01am on the commencement date which means any rehoming needs to be done tomorrow before midnight and if you are walking your dog late tomorrow night then it must be muzzled and leashed by midnight. Similarly if you have your dog in the car in a public place it must be muzzled and leashed after midnight tomorrow.

Christmas at Deed Not Breed

It’s not how many of us wanted to spend Christmas this year but sadly there will be an awful lot of people in the same boat. Although it would be nice to have some time off, we feel that we need to be here for emergencies but would ask if the answer to your question isn’t on our page or our website, please message us and we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can

I would like to personally extend my thanks to Mel Rushmore for going above and beyond, as always, and being my Oracle and my rock.

Huge thanks also to Trevor and the team at Cooper & Co: Doglaw and Kathryn Jamieson-Sinclair and to everyone who has supported Deed Not Breed and continues to do so.



First reading by Sir Christopher Chope

Yesterday afternoon Sir Christopher Chope presented a Bill, the
Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (Amendment) Bill in the House of Commons for first reading. The Bill would if passed prevent the Government from doing as it has just done with the American Bully XL . This, if passed, would alter the mechanism for adding breeds to the prohibited or restricted breed types meaning that before making any order to designate a type of dog for the purposes of section 1 or 2 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (ban or restriction), the Secretary of State must in future carry out a public consultation and publish a comparative review of data showing the incidences of fatalities resulting from bites of dogs of that type in the last three years. This would remove the governments powers currently within the legislation to effectively add breeds at the stroke of a pen by the Secretary of State. Whilst we believe the whole dangerous dog legislation needs to be overhauled to focus on prevention rather than punishment after the fact, we welcome this move as a sensible one and would recommend our followers to ask their MP’s to support it when it goes for second reading on Friday 23rd February 2024. We thank Sir Christopher Chope for bringing what is a sensible solution to prevent yet another knee-jerk reaction resulting from press pressure being repeated again in the future without evidence or asking the opinion of the public who after all put MP’s in parliament to serve them

Read here

Early Day Motion

As promised in yesterday’s petitions debate Sir Christopher Chope has tabled a prayer motion to annul the Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order 2023, this is the initial Statutory instrument used on October 31st to add the XL Bully to the current list of banned types. It is a fatal prayer motion which attempts to annul the SI and is the route to take when objecting to Negative Procedure Statutory Instruments. Sir Christopher Chope is within the forty day ‘prayer’ period but in order to secure an annulment it must be agreed by the house, the last time a fatal prayer was successful in the house was in 1979 but we wish him success in his objection to the adding of another breed to Section 1 of the Act

Dogs – Early Day Motion

Online registrations

NOTE TO OWNERS online registrations look to be taking longer than they were initially, we arecurrently getting owners who registered the day after applications opened who have received their exemptions today a week after they applied compared with hours to a couple of days last week

Some of our most commonly asked questions

This post contains some of the most frequent general questions we are being asked currently and our responses to them which whilst not constituting legal advice, will hopefully help owners of dogs which may be caught up in the addition of the XL Bully to the list of dogs prohibited under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. If you have a general question that is not included below then please feel free to message us or post in the replies to this post and we will add it to the post with a response. We cannot give the answers to some questions that are individual and dependent on the circumstances, so in those situations please contact us directly in order that we can have access to all of the information we might need regarding your situation in order to provide the best advice possible.
Please can we ask that only questions are posted on this post in order that we can deal with them efficiently, as you can probably imagine we are also running the helplines and are very busy so it would make it much easier for us if all questions are on one post and the post contains only questions. Thank you in advance.
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