XL Bully ban and abandoned lockdown dogs prompts need for more stray kennels in Hull

A stray dog handed in to RSPCA
Hull City Council stated recent months had seen a significant rise in the number of stray dogs (file photo) -Credit:Coventry Telegraph

The XL Bully ban and rising numbers of dogs bought during the coronavirus pandemic being abandoned means more kennels are needed for strays in Hull, according to a council document.

Hull City Council has approved an extra £19,710 to expand the number of kennels for stray dogs from 10 to 16 locally. The council's decision record stated the current number of kennels it contracts from Hull Animal Welfare Trust was no longer enough to house animals picked up by its dog wardens.

The decision follows a significant rise in the number of larger stray dogs including ones that are not XL Bullies since the ban came into force in February. The decision record stated larger dogs are usually more difficult to rehome than smaller ones meaning they typically stay in kennels for longer.


Councils are legally required to keep stray dogs for at least seven days after which they can rehome or put them down, with the exception of banned breeds. The Hull City Council document stated the ban was one possible cause of the rise in stray dogs in the past few months although it could not say for certain.

It added another very likely reason for the rise in strays reported by all rescue centres was dogs bought during the pandemic being abandoned amid the cost of living crisis. Dogs are becoming too expensive for people to keep and the amount being abandoned has left many rescue centres permanently full.

Ellie the XL Bully
Hull City Council stated it believed the recent XL Bully ban was fuelling a rise in the abandonment of particularly larger dogs -Credit:Hull Animal Welfare Trust

This in turn leaves less space in kennels for stray dogs found by councils. A further possible reason cited by the decision record was the transferring of responsibility for kennelling banned breeds from police forces to councils in February.

The decision to increase spending on kennels to £52,560-a-year comes after Hull City Council cut the number from 25 to 10 when its previous contract ended in January 2023. The decision record stated the move came as the number of strays being picked up fell during the previous five years.

It stated the latest increase in funding would allow it meet its legal requirements to kennel stray dogs. The decision record stated: "Over the past few months it has become increasingly difficult to keep the number of stray dogs we have in kennels below 10.

"The addition of these kennels should give us sufficient capacity to ensure that we can kennel the dogs we collect for longer. And it will prevent the need for us to euthanise healthy dogs."