XL Bully destroyed after being abandoned in park as armed police called by terrified onlookers

-Credit:Getty Images
-Credit:Getty Images

An XL Bully which was abandoned at a park has been destroyed after terrified onlookers called armed police to the scene.

Witnesses said a 4x4 car pulled up, removed the dog from the boot and sped off in front of families. The petrified animal, which had no collar or muzzle on, had to be subdued with bits of food while police were called last month.

Residents living nearby described the ordeal as "horrendous", adding that police officers told them to stay indoors, while parents were rushing their children back into cars.

Merseyside Police said no one was injured after it was dumped in Croxteth Hall and Country Park in Liverpool on March 23. They added the dog was not located until the following day after it ran into a nearby garden, The Mirror reports.

Officials have confirmed there are seven times more XL Bullys in the UK than previously estimated.

The Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs originally believed there were around 10,000 but following a breed ban at the end of last year, more than 55,000 were registered for a ban exemption certificate.

It is now illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow the dogs to stray. A further 15,000 to 20,000 XL Bullys are thought to be unregistered, bringing the total estimate to around 70,000.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said of the Liverpool incident: "The dog was not showing any signs of aggression and there were no reported injuries.

"Officers attended with the dog unit but were unable to seize the dog until the following morning when it was located in a nearby residential garden. As it was a stray dog, it was handed over to Liverpool City Council's animal warden team and humanely destroyed. Anyone with information on stray dogs can speak to the council."

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