A Biggin Hill animal rescue centre has teamed up with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in a bid to show the “softer side of Staffies”.

Foal Farm Animal Rescue has today (July 17) launched a campaign, ‘Staffies – They’re Softer Than You Think’, to defend Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a breed often thought of as aggressive and dangerous.

As a result of negative perceptions and stories about dog attacks the team has been inundated with unwanted pets – last year rehousing over 65 that were abandoned in Kent alone.

Kennel supervisor at Foal Farm Sarah Mitchell said: “We see a large number of Staffie and Staffie crosses coming into our centre.

“Any dog can be trained to be aggressive, and sadly Staffies are the victims of a minority of irresponsible dog owners.

“Staffies adore human company and we are determined to show that they make fantastic family companions.”

Head of animal services at Battersea Laura Jenkins aded: “Battersea has seen a huge increase in the number of Staffies coming into its care and around a third of the dogs we take in are Staffies and Staffie crosses.

“We know what wonderful family pets they can be and it’s great to have the chance to work with Foal Farm to spread the word and give Staffies the second chance they deserve.”