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American bully XL owner willing to lose pub job over dog

A pub manager said he was prepared to give up his job to keep his beloved American bully XL.

Hayden Watson lives upstairs at The Harrier in Gunthorpe, Peterborough with his "playful" eight-month-old puppy, Nala.

He said a customer complaint prompted a call from his manager to say she cannot remain on the premises when such dogs are banned in January.

Greene King, which owns the pub, has been approached for comment.

In September, the government announced American bully XLs would be added to the list of breeds prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Reports linked them to numerous attacks, which resulted in the death of a man near Walsall and a 10-year-old boy in Caerphilly.

But the ban, which begins to come into force from 1 January, has seen a backlash from thousands of pet owners who say XLs are gentle, loving dogs.

Mr. Watson said "all the regulars love Nala", who was a "huge comfort" to him after he returned from a recent spell in hospital.

But "out of the blue", he had a phone call from his boss to say there had been a complaint about a bully XL being "at a so-called family pub".

Mr Watson said he was told banned breeds would not be allowed on the premises.

"I'd still 100% choose my dog over my job," he said. "She's part of my family, she's never done anything wrong. She's so loving, why should I have to put her down?"

Owners of American bully XLs have until 1 February 2024 to have them euthanised by a vet, for which they can claim £200 in compensation.

The alternative is to have them insured, microchipped, neutered, certified exempt and muzzled in public at all times.

The costs involved are believed to be prohibitive for many owners, while some councils and housing associations stop tenants from keeping banned dogs.

Read more at BBC News


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