tighter controls on the breeding of Staffordshire bull terriers could finally be implemented thanks to the long-running work of an Arbroath dog campaigner.
Ian Robb, of Angus Dog Rescue based at Kinaldie, has been lobbying the Scottish Government for four years to change legislation regarding staffies.
Angus Dog Rescue, formerly Help for Abandoned Animals, was seeing a huge influx of staffies being dumped by their owners.
This is compounded by the over-breeding of the dogs, as well as their negative reputation for being aggressive.
And Arbroath has seen its fair share of dog attacks in recent years with both smaller dogs and cats being mauled by the breed.
Mr Robb had lodged a petition with the Scottish Government’s public petition’s committee in 2011 but had yet to see any changes.
But after going straight to the top and writing a letter to First Minister Alex Salmond, he received a reply before Christmas stating there were plans to look into the issue of pet vending and current breeding legislation.
And now he is hopeful new legislation could be introduced to stop so many staffies being abandoned.
He told the Herald: “We have been working on this for four years now and I’m happy that they have decided to take a closer look into this issue.
“I don’t think the current legislation is working so I wrote to the First Minister and I received a letter back before Christmas from the animal welfare department telling me of their plans.
“I have had so much support for this from people in Arbroath and Angus and hopefully there will be an even better outcome.”
Already Mr Robb has worked with Angus Council, in particular with Councillor Donald Morrison, to try to ease the problems caused by staffies locally.
And now the local authority has a policy where council housing tenants can be banned from keeping dogs and other pets if they are not looking after them responsibly.
This along with raising the profile of the problem has seen the number of staffies dumped drop from 46 in 2011 to nine in 2012.
And even though Mr Robb is delighted with the decrease in abandonments, he still says there is work to be done.
He added: “All of this has been made possible through the work of Angus Council and everybody else who has supported us and we have to continue.
“We also have to say a big thank you to everybody who donated tins of food to the sanctuary over Christmas.
“We didn’t have any dogs here on Christmas Eve, but since then we have taken in five so everybody’s donations are well received.”