Via the Echo:
ABANDONED DOGS â€˜FASHION VICTIMSâ€™
Apr 24 2007
by Staff Reporter, Liverpool Echo
â€˜FASHION-victimâ€™ pet owners are being blamed for an increase in the number of dogs being abandoned on Merseyside.
Figures released by the RSPCA yesterday showed that the number of unwanted pets needing rescuing shot up by more than 40% last year.
And staff at Animals In Need rescue centre in Melling say that the death of St Helens youngster Ellie Lawrenson, on New Yearâ€™s Day, had had a huge impact on dog owners.
Since the New Year the centre on Spurriers Lane has had a huge increase of Staffordshire bull terriers on their waiting list.
They currently have around 70 a week being homed in the centre and waiting to be rescued.
Caroline Cassidy, 35, who has been manager at the centre for the past nine years, said: â€œWhat happened to little Ellie Lawrenson must have been a huge influence. Itâ€™s why dogs are being brought in to us.
â€œIt was the fashion recently in Liverpool for people to have a Staffordshire bull terrier. Itâ€™s what you would see on the street. Theyâ€™re now ending up here as the owners are fashion victims.â€