A muzzled XL bully was believed to have been alive when it was thrown off a bridge in South Yorkshire, according to reports.
The body of the black and white female was found by a dog walker in the area known as The Washlands beneath the busy A57 flyover near Beighton around six miles from Sheffield city centre on Monday at around 11am.
The RSPCA believes the dog was alive and was likely thrown from the bridge, as blood was found around the animal’s mouth which may have been a result of the impact of the fall. The dog was microchipped to a breeder in Wigan but the new owner's details were not registered and an investigation has been launched.
It comes just days before a ban on owning XL bullies comes into force and weeks after the government introduced legislation requiring them to be muzzled and kept on a lead in a public place.
‘Callous and sickening act’
RSPCA inspector Kristy Ludlam said: “From the injuries sustained and the location where she was found, it appears that the poor dog was thrown from the flyover and died due to blunt force trauma injuries as she hit the ground. She was found on a route well used by dog walkers and had not been dead very long… If she has been thrown from the flyover to her death – this is a very callous and sickening act.”
Anyone with information or who may have dashcam footage on the flyover from around 11am on 22 January is urged to contact the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 123 8019.
What are the new rules for XL bully owners?
The new rules on XL bullies came into force on New Year’s Eve, meaning it is now illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow the animals to stray in England and Wales. Existing owners of the breed are allowed to keep their pets, but there are a raft of measures that they will have to adhere to.
Owners were advised to stop mating the dogs ahead of the ban, while the government also recommended that the animals were trained to wear a muzzle and walk on a lead before the new rules came into effect.
It will be expected that all owners register their XL bullies on the index of exempted dogs by 1 February – and it will be illegal to own one that is not on the index after this date. The dogs must also be microchipped and neutered, with animals under a year old given until the end of 2024 to be neutered while older dogs must be neutered by June.
XL bully owners who fail to register their dogs on the index face a criminal record and an unlimited fine. Their dog could also be seized. Owners also have the option to have their dog put down by the vet, with compensation provided to those who do.
RSPCA investigates after XL bully found dead with head injury in Bexleyheath (Evening Standard)