DOGS in desperate need of homes are being left unwanted due to misconceptions surrounding their breed, say RSPCA officials.

Staff at the Bury and Oldham centre say they are “disheartened” by the public’s reaction to their Staffordshire bull terriers which are waiting for new homes.

They are urging potential adopters not to be put off by the breed’s bad publicity in recent years and say the dogs, known as staffies, make wonderful pets.

Centre manager Lisa Walsh said: “Staffies have suffered a great deal from overbreeding and many end up in our care due to irresponsible ownership.

“Due to bad publicity in recent years, the majority of the public now consider bull breeds to be untrustworthy and unpredictable.

“People who come into the centre leave without even giving staffies a chance.

“We find this very disheart-ening. These dogs deserve a loving home and should not be judged due to their breed.”

Lisa said it was important not to generalise all staffies as having the same characteristics and behaviour and said the centre’s dogs are well-behaved, affectionate and playful.

“Staffies can make wonderful pets, are loyal and are good with children,” she added.

The RSPCA centre carries out a full 10-day assessment on each dog to work out what its ideal family would be, and regularly monitors their behaviour after this.

All dogs are fully vaccinated, neutered, microchipped and given worm and flea treatments and potential new owners receive a home visit and advice.

Lisa added: “Some of the dogs in our centre may not have been mistreated, while others have only come to us because of unfortunate circumstances where their owners have to give them up.

“Our ultimate aim is to match the right dog to the right owner, regardless of breed.”

Anyone interested in adopting an animal can contact the centre on 0161 624 4725, go to the centre between 11.30am and 3.30pm any day except Wednesdays, or visit