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UK’s 1st XL Bully case stirs frustration among responsible owners

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Patrick McKeown, 40, from Worthing, West Sussex (pictured above), has been convicted for owning an unregistered American XL bully named Sully, marking a first in Britain. When police visited his home for another reason, McKeown warned them that Sully was aggressive and would “attack anyone who approached it.”

The police took Sully after finding the dog loose and seeing McKeown’s social media where he joked about wearing the dog’s gold chain.

On March 12, at Worthing Magistrates’ Court, McKeown pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing a fighting dog, in violation of the Dangerous Dogs Act. He was sentenced to a one-year community order, which includes 100 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £114 surcharge. Additionally, the court ordered Sully to be put down, subject to an appeal.

This case highlights the issue with American XL Bullies getting a bad name not because of the breed itself, but because of irresponsible owners. An owner, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed his frustration, saying ‘Most owners – like me – are responsible, love our dogs, and follow the rules but we still get lumped in with the idiots who don’t.”

The government and police are asking all XL Bully owners to follow the guidelines following a rise in dog-related offences last year.

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