‘Give Staffie’s a chance - they’re misunderstood’ says Linslade author
A Linslade author is on a mission to get tails wagging in favour of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, as she encourages people to love the misunderstood breed.
Natasha Balletta, 32, wishes to raise awareness about her book ‘Nothing Beats a Staffie Smile’ which tells heartwarming stories based on interviews with owners, foster carers, and dog walkers.
The writer’s moving book features tales which are bound to send readers reaching for their tissue boxes, as many of the dogs have been abandoned or mistreated.
Natasha said: “Staffies are one of the most misunderstood dog breeds. I used to be wary of them myself due to how they are portrayed in the media, and it was not until getting involved with ‘All Dogs Matter’ charity in London that I got to know the true characteristics of the Staffie breed and realised I had unfairly judged them.
“Since spending time with these dogs I have come to realise they are some of the most affectionate, playful and loving dogs you could ever meet.
“The book features dogs who have not only transformed their lives, but their owners’ lives, too.
“There are also some sad and shocking stories of how these dogs were used as breeding machines, and one was even found abandoned with a broken jaw!”
Natasha says that since the dogs have been rescued, some have gone on to become therapy dogs, for example, helping people with dementia.
She added: “You will also read about Bones who started out as a rescue dog and has since qualified as a therapy dog. Bones’s first case as a therapy dog resulted in a young lad getting a Staffie, and Bones’s owner, Marylyn, believes the phobia work is his speciality.”
Marylyn said: “It is great being able to work with kids that are nervous of dogs and help them overcome their fears. Bones is loved by all who have met him, all who have yet to meet him and a true ambassador for his breed.”
Since All Dogs Matter became a registered charity in 2009 they have rehomed 1500 to 2000 dogs.
However, 90 per cent of the dogs up for adoption are Staffies.
Ira Moss, All Dogs Matter general manager, said: “Please do not be put off by this as this is simply not because of the breed but by the deed of previous owners. A lot of these Staffies go through a tremendous amount of abuse and yet they are so forgiving towards humans.”