Page last updated at 23:25 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 00:25 UK

Dogs 'bred to fund drugs trade'

Kyle
Kyle was kept indoors most of the time and very rarely got out for walks

Drug addicts are breeding dogs to raise quick cash to fund their habits, according to animal welfare charities.

Rescue centres across the country are being swamped with Staffordshire Bull Terriers that have been sold to or bred by irresponsible owners.

The Scottish SPCA is housing 57 of the dogs now and one group in Angus said more than half of the 70 dogs it had taken in this year were of that breed.

Responsible buyers are often put off by the image that the dogs are violent.

However the charities have said it is the way the dogs are raised which determines their nature.

'Wrong type'

Ian Robb, from Help for Abandoned Animals near Arbroath, said: "The wrong type of people in society are breeding them for their own gains and then dogs are just being abandoned.

"People who are abusing drugs are breeding the dogs to raise funds to buy the substances they're abusing and this just seems to be happening all over Britain at the moment."

Mr Robb is concerned at the way many of the dogs are being reared.

"Last year we had to give up on two young Staffies because they couldn't be trusted with people. They were vicious dogs.

"Unfortunately we just had to give up on them and they had to be put to sleep."

At the moment the group has Kyle at its centre, who was found tied to a tree near Montrose.

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Rescue centres say many of the dogs end up with them

He is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who finds it difficult to socialise with other dogs because he was kept inside his owner's house and not taken out for walks.

Mr Robb believes it will be "very difficult" to find a home for Kyle but he is determined not to give up.

At the SSPCA centre near Dundee they have Charlie and her five puppies. Charlie is only a puppy herself at seven months old.

They were taken from their owners about three weeks ago because they could not look after them.

Sharon Comrie from the centre said: "The people that are on drugs or are into dodgy dealings, they will buy them as a status symbol.

"They're macho, hard, tough dogs and they buy them, they breed them, they can't get people to take them on or they're passing them on to other undesirable people and they're having more litters and the problem just escalates.

"Undesirables, they're getting money for them. They're getting 700/800 pounds for them, so that's more drug money."


SEE ALSO
Illegal dog dealers 'target' area
21 Aug 08 |  Tayside and Central
Ill dog abandoned in city street
15 Aug 08 |  Tayside and Central
Ruff deal for the Staffie
14 Feb 08 |  Magazine

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