British Man Runs Rottweiler Refuge

What a lovely family! Thanks to This is Lancashire for this update on good people and dogs! Dad opens home to unwanted danger dogs By...


Dan Holland with Denon.jpg

What a lovely family!

Thanks to This is Lancashire for this update on good people and dogs!

Dad opens home to unwanted danger dogs
By Ben Briggs

A MAN who runs a rottweiler refuge lets the potential killers live side-by-side with his children to highlight public misunderstanding of dangerous dogs.

For 12 months Dan Holland, of Thorn Street, Clitheroe, has been fostering abandoned rottweilers and trying to rehome them.

Although not on the official dangerous dogs list, rott-weilers have a fearsome reputation and are often used as guard dogs in homes and industrial units.

Dangerous dogs have hit the headlines this year after the incident on New Year’s Day when five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson died after being savaged by her uncle’s pit bull terrier in St Helens.

Despite the bad publicity Mr Holland, a 27-year-old unemployed roofer, is happy to have three rottweilers in his house and believes they are no threat to his six children, one of whom is severely disabled.

Along with girlfriend Katie Blezzard the couple want to go in to full-time rottweiler rescue and are hoping to find some kennel space that would allow them to do this.

They got in to dog fostering after they adopted a puppy from “Rottweilers in Need”, a charity that rehomes the animals.

Now they are hoping to establish their own charity called “Rotts in Need” and take in abandoned dogs from across the North West.

With a Belgian shepherd dog as a pet, Mr Holland also keeps the rottweilers in the house with the family and provides metal cages for them to sleep in and escape human contact if they wish.

No licence is required to keep these dogs and he believes that as long as they are handled correctly they pose no threat.

And he believes the same is true for dogs on the dangerous dogs list, such as Staffordshire and pit bull terriers.

He said: “There is possibly a negative view of animals like this because of all the press coverage at the moment, but I don’t think people are getting rid of them because of their viscous streak.

“To me it’s not a bad dog, it’s a bad owner. I have six kids and I’ve had no problem.

“Obviously, I’d never leave them alone in a room with my children but it’s not just these type of dogs that could be a problem – any dog is a potential killing machine.

“We keep them for a few weeks to see whether they are fine and what they are like around children and then they are rehomed.

“We get them for different reasons. People are ringing up because they’ve got to big for them which makes you wonder why they bought them in the first place.”

Animal protection bodies backed Mr Holland’s claims that dog behaviour is as much down to the owner as the animal.

Sophie Corless of the RSPCA said: “All dogs, regardless of their breed, have the potential to be dangerous.

“Demonising individual breeds does not achieve anything as all breeds can attack people, just as all breeds can produce wonder-ful dogs.

“If dogs and children are sharing the same environ-ment, everyone needs to be aware of the potential risk.

“Fundamentally, what is needed is responsible pet ownership.”

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