Owners of XL Bully's have raised concerns about the upcoming breed ban, with many worried about the future for their pets.

It comes as the government has banned XL Bully's with it becoming illegal to breed, sell, advertise, rehome and abandon an XL Bully from December 31, 2023.

Rescue centres have shared their thoughts on the ban and have failed to rule out that XL Bully's in dog shelters will be put down as the ban comes into force.

READ MORE: What will happen to XL bullies in Berkshire rescues come December?

In the latest news on the dog ban, as of Tuesday, November 14, XL Bully owners now have the opportunity to register their dogs for the exemption scheme until the end of January.

Owners will then have to comply with strict requirements including making the dog wear a muzzle and they must be kept on a lead, be microchipped and neutered.

If owners don't wish to apply for the exemption they can choose to have their dog euthanised and apply for compensation.

From February 1. 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL Bully unless it is on the exempt list.

XL Bully owners who don’t have a certificate of exemption will face a criminal record and an unlimited fine if they are found to be in possession of an XL Bully as of February 1, 2024, and their dog could be seized.

READ MORE: XL Bully owners can register their dogs for exemption now

Tracy Doherty got in touch with this newspaper with her concerns after her rescue dog turned out to be an XL Bully.

Tracy adopted her dog Maxx from a rescue centre two years ago with the guise that he was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

She said: "He's very tall, has a bit of a growl when he barks if somebody is at the door, but he is so soft and all he wants is cuddles constantly. 

"We knew that he was crossed with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier but with him being so big and the possibility of a ban, I thought it best to have him DNA tested.

"I really wish that I hadn't."

Upon DNA testing Maxx Tracy found out that he was a cross between an American Pitbull, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and an American Bulldog.

"When I discovered this, I cried for two days and still tear up at the thought of losing him," Tracy said.

She quickly emailed the rescue centre she got her dog from and claimed she was told: "There's nothing to worry about, most dogs will have Bully in them".

"I know my dog, who has been brought into a loving home and through no fault of his own may have to be surrendered.

"If Maxx had hurt anyone, I would definitely surrender him.

"Its absolutely heart-breaking and to think that this is happening in homes all over the country, its just so wrong."

Peter Kow has seven XL Bully's in his family after they fell in love with the breed.

He has described the situation as a "nightmare" describing the rules and legislations as "not clear" and "muddled".

"People's reaction now that they do know [there is a ban] - they automatically assume that you are a bad person with a dangerous dog."

Peter feels a license should be introduced and owners should be vetted.

"I just know they will go from this breed of dog to the next. It'll be Cane Corso next."

Zoe Simpson also shared: "I rescued a Staffy X from Romania who had a terrible life and she's been with me a year.

"I believe she will get caught in the XL Bully ban.

"This girl has been through so much she was used as a breeding machine and now she's a baby herself who follows me around everywhere she is the softest girl. I'm scared.

"I think the ban is totally wrong."

We are looking to speak to vets in Berkshire. If this is you please get in touch at daisy.waites@newsquest.co.uk