Every Dog In A Shelter Besides This One Was Adopted
After the RSPCA's enormously successful Clear the Shelter Campaign in February, Lucius was the only dog left in Sydney's Yagoona shelter.
A staff favourite, the seven-year-old mastiff was surrendered by his owner in October last year.
"He's a stronger personality," Sharon Andronicos, Yagoona's senior manager in animal care services, told 10 daily.
"He pulls a bit on his lead but he knows his cues beautifully, he sits and drops and goes to his bed and he waits patiently while you put on his lead and collar."
Having been at the shelter for so long, the slightly older pup is taken for a walk every day to give him a bit of a break.
Lucius is still waiting to be taken to his forever home, and the RSPCA thinks some misconceptions about his breed might be standing in his way.
"Unfortunately bull-breeds get a bit of a bad rap," RSPCA spokesperson Kieran Watson told 10 daily.
"The term 'bull' even kind of puts people a bit offside, they feel that they're a bit aggressive when actually they can be really sweet."
According to the RSPCA, people often assume these dogs are aggressive, untrustworthy or hard to control, despite no scientific evidence to support the theory.
In a bid to fight negative stereotypes and paint their "beautiful bullies" in a different light, the RSPCA this week launched its ‘Adoptabull’ campaign -- allowing prospective dog owners to take home a bull-type breed for $199 until April 28.
Bull-breeds will usually wait 20 days on average for adoption, compared to other mixed breeds who generally spend about a week less in shelters.
They're also the most common type of dogs found in Australian shelters.
Out of more than 9,000 dogs cared for by the RSPCA in NSW last year, the top three mixed breeds were English Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Bull Arabs.
"We see a lot of bully breeds coming in through the door mainly because of overbreeding," Andronicos said.
"There's a lot of people that aren't desexing their animals and there's a lot of bully crosses out there that people aren't being responsible with the breeding. So people aren't looking for bully breeds because there's so many of them already out there."
If you're considering adopting a bull-breed, Andronicos said the process should be undertaken as if adopting any other dog, with a meet-and-greet the essential first step.
Most importantly though, RSPCA staff want to ensure all fur-parents -- whether adopting an "irresistabull, adorabull, huggabull" bully bread or any other pet -- understand what they're taking on so as to ensure the animals don't return to the shelter.
"It's really important that you have a whole life plan for these animals... We see them when they come in the door and their humans abandon them, and that takes them quite a long time to get over," Andronicos said.
Bull-breeds, in particular, can be extremely energetic and strong dogs, so this forward planning is crucial.
"I think a lot of people see cute little puppies and they're cute little eyes and then realise that they grow up pretty fast," Watson said.
"People need to know that pets are forever."
For a full list of the breeds available under Adoptabull, head to adoptapet.com.au.