Staffies. They're softer than you think.
Monday 17 February
Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare has today joined forces with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in a bid to show the people of East Sussex the softer side of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, as the rescue centre sees unwanted Staffies coming through its doors.
Raystede’s campaign - Staffies. They’re Softer Than You Think - aims to raise awareness of the plight of the Staffie, challenge negative perceptions about the breed and show the true soft character of these loveable dogs, that were once known as ‘Nanny dogs’ for their affinity with children.
Centres like Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare and Battersea are the last hope for thousands of unwanted and abandoned Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Staffie crosses. On average each year, the East Sussex rescue centre takes in 20 Staffies and Staffie crosses, with the breed accounting for 10 -15% of the dogs they take in.
Gemma Price, Education Manager at Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare explains: “We see a large number of Staffies and Staffie crosses coming into our centre. Any dog can be trained to be aggressive, and sadly Staffies are the victims of a minority of irresponsible dog owners. Staffies adore human company and we are determined to show that they make fantastic family companions.”
Laura Jenkins, Head of Animal Services at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home adds: “Battersea has seen a huge increase in the number of Staffies coming into its care and around a third of the dogs we take in are Staffies and Staffie crosses. We know what wonderful family pets they can be and it’s great to have the chance to work with Raystede to spread the word and give Staffies the second chance they deserve.”
As part of its campaign with Battersea, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare is working with many proud, responsible local Staffie owners to champion the positive qualities of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Gemma adds: “Thousands of proud and responsible Staffie owners will tell you that Staffies are gentle, friendly dogs and a million miles away from the hard image they have been unfairly tarnished with. We have some great local residents who have rehomed Staffies from us who are tremendous ambassadors for the breed.”
One such Staffie ambassador is Brian Gilbert from Eastbourne who rehomed Bert, a Staffie from Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare. Brian explains, “My wife and I adopted Bert in August. We had no idea what breed to go for but when we saw him we loved him. He was nervous at first but after one night it was as if he had been part of the family forever. Bert mixes happily with all the other dogs in the green that we regularly walk him at. Sometimes people who don’t know Bert, shy away from him because he is a Staffie, and they have heard bad things about the breed. But they end up very pleasantly surprised when they get to know him.