The XL Bully ban has been described as “heart-breaking” by those facing the fall-out.

Every Paw Matters says the new ban has been the ‘most difficult thing it has ever had to deal with’.

The organisation, which supports vulnerable pets and owners across BCP, has faced an overwhelming number of enquiries from XL Bully owners since it was announced in October.

In one day it received 600 messages, according to Every Paw Matters’ founder Claire.

It comes as many XL Bully owners look to exempt their pets from the law before the deadline of February 1, with many unsure how or unable to afford it.

Claire said: “Whilst we don’t agree with the ban, we’re about responsible dog ownership.

"We want people to be compliant with the law, which is tough, because you need to pay the dog trust fees, the registration, and they’ve got to be muzzled - but you don’t just go and stick a muzzle on a dog, the training is important.

Bournemouth Echo: One of the dogs supported by Every Paw MattersOne of the dogs supported by Every Paw Matters (Image: Every Paw Matters)

“They have to have good collars, good strong harnesses and leads, and also neutering. Many owners can’t afford it.

“If people have a Bully, and haven’t done anything yet, or have no resources or are worried about costs, they can contact us, and we’ll support them as much as we can.”

Since the ban was announced, Every Paw Matters has supported a number of XL Bullies and their owners with free advice, muzzle donations and training.

While motivated to help, Claire said it had been a “very sad” beginning to the year and is keen for the law to be revoked. 

She said: “It’s dreadful that anybody has been attacked by a dog, it’s awful, but it’s the humans at fault. This has all come about because of irresponsible breeding and owners.

Bournemouth Echo: Every Paw Matters has been supporting dogs with muzzle trainingEvery Paw Matters has been supporting dogs with muzzle training (Image: NQ)

“We feel it’s unfair what has happened and that’s why we’ve had to be really proactive.”

Claire also runs ‘Misty's Pet Food Bank’, which provides food to pets across the conurbation, and said many pet owners needing help now had used the food bank in the past.

She said: “We’ve always helped these dogs and the owners who are struggling.

“It’s sad seeing dogs that we know are very gentle souls having to wear muzzles. We just hope the government will review everything."

Amid challenging times, Every Paw Matters has been supported by Pawseideon – a Poole-based training and education centre for dogs and their owners.

Pawseideon has helped to provide muzzle and behavioural training to XL Bullies and their owners.

Bournemouth Echo: James Hill owns Pawseideon, and has been supporting Claire in her work.James Hill owns Pawseideon, and has been supporting Claire in her work. (Image: James Hill)

James Hill, who founded Pawseideon, said: "I do get frustrated with the laws, but there’s nothing we can do.

“I’m just out there helping and seeing what I can do.

"They’re a breed that can be so stubborn, but the XL Bullies I’ve worked with have been so nice."

Speaking about his work with Claire, James said: "What Claire is doing and has done is pretty amazing. She is relentless and how she does it, I don’t know.

"She doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. To have someone who runs an organisation like that, and be out doing it all herself, is great."