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 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-for-the-ban-on-xl-bully-dogs) 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.