A Scottish woman who helped rescue more than 30 American XL Bullies, is part of a network of charities and volunteers, searching to find homes for the banned breed in Scotland.

Taylor Stirling, from Lossiemouth, is among the Scots who have welcomed XL Bullies into their homes before the tough new restrictions were brought in on New Years Eve. 

Following a series of fatal attacks on humans, it was made illegal to breed, sell, and rehome the dogs from December 31 in England and Wales.

Read more: SNP ministers slated for taking time over XL Bully decision

But no such rules have been announced in Scotland, which has led to a number of XL Bullies being brought across the Border. 

"We saw all the dogs being abandoned and knew we had to do something to help," said Ms Stirling, whose rescue bully Enzo now lives with her family and her other XL Bully, Terra.  

The Herald: Taylor Stirling with her XL Bully rescue, EnzoTaylor Stirling with her XL Bully rescue, Enzo (Image: Taylor Stirling)

The 21-year-old mum of two said: "He's amazing with kids. We can't just let them be put down by just a few bad names. 

"Our two are amazing family dogs because they have been raised as family dogs. It depends who raises it and how it’s raised. 

“I have a two and one-year-old, they can clamber over the heads of my dogs. They are good as gold. I wouldn’t have any other type of dog now."

Mr Stirling is part of a group of people who organised foster homes and rescues for XL Bullies in Scotland ahead of the ban, arranging their transport and doing home checks to find suitable prospective owners. 

Everyone who has rehomed one of the animals has agreed to follow any new rules which may be announced in Scotland, she said. 

The Herald: Taylor says her XL Bullies are family dogs who are amazing with the childrenTaylor says her XL Bullies are family dogs who are amazing with the children (Image: Taylor Stirling)

Ms Stirling said: "They are the most docile, lazy dogs ever. If you take them out they do zoomies but they would sit in the house all day sleeping, no problem. They are so good, so chill, so loyal as well.

“That’s why bad people ruin them because they are so determined to do right by their owners. "

From February 1, it will be illegal to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless it's registered for a fee of £92.10, microchipped, neutered, and kept on a lead and muzzle when in public.

Read more: Are XL Bullies banned in Scotland? The rules explained

Ms Stirling said there were myriad reasons people have surrendered their XL Bullies to Scots - and why social media pages are still flooded with posts trying to do so.  

"Some people just don't care about their dog," she said, "We rescued one with five puppies who had been a breeding machine and spent her whole life in a cage. It was horrible.

“People like that don’t care, there is no money in the dogs any more. Then there are people in council or private housing, some landlords aren’t allowing banned breeds."

The Herald: Taylor rescued Enzo before the XL Bully ban came into effect in England and WalesTaylor rescued Enzo before the XL Bully ban came into effect in England and Wales (Image: Taylor Stirling)

Owners are now being warned against sending their animals to Scotland, as it is now considered an offence to do so.  

Among the people who have died after being attacked by XL Bullies was Adam Watts, a manager of kennels near Dundee, who was killed while trying to restrain one. 

“Some dogs have done things that have caused this but it’s all down to how the owners have raised them," said Ms Stirling, "I think it’s going to cause people like that to find another more powerful dog. It will be something like a bull mastiff next, something that looks scary.

“XL Bullies are big and they are powerful. But there’s so many other breeds like that. As soon as you ban this breed another will appear.

“You can’t just ban every dog breed, you have to think of a better way of dealing with it. I think it’s a cop out instead of finding the best solution."

The Herald: Sammy Wilkinson claims to have rescued 30 XL Bullies by bringing them to ScotlandSammy Wilkinson claims to have rescued 30 XL Bullies by bringing them to Scotland (Image: Sammy Wilkinson)

Instead of a ban, Ms Stirling thinks owners should be required to have a licence if they have a dog of that strength. 

"I think that would be more practical instead of putting healthy dogs down," she said, "Hopefully Scotland doesn’t follow it and we think it through.”

Ms Stirling is not alone in her compassion for the controversial animals. A man claims to have transported 33 XL Bullies hundreds of miles in a race to the Scottish Border before midnight struck on December 31. 

Read more: XL bully dog curbs come into force in England and Wales

"You're not killing these Rishi Sunak," Sammy Wilkinson, from Tipton, posted on social media. And Glasgow woman Kerryanne Shaw, who runs All Bullie Charity Rescue, has announced plans to set up an XL Bully sanctuary in Dundee

Organisations including The Scottish SPCA, The British Veterinary Association, RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and Kennel Club, have previously spoken out against the XL Bully ban, criticising the UK Government's focus on specific breeds rather than on tougher penalties for owners who can't control their dogs. 

The Herald: XL Bullies will be illegal in England and Wales from February 1 unless registeredXL Bullies will be illegal in England and Wales from February 1 unless registered (Image: Getty)

The coalition also raised "serious concerns" about the short amount of time owners have to comply with the new rules, and the vague definition of an XL Bully, which is not considered a breed by the UK Kennel Club. 

The Scottish SPCA said it has not seen an increase in the number of XL Bully dogs coming into its centres since the restrictions came into force in England and Wales. 

And it said there is "no need" for a caring owner down south to move a dog to Scotland, as they have until January 31 to register their dogs and comply with the new exemption conditions. 

A spokesperson said: "We believe that anyone found guilty of owning a dangerous dog that has been involved in an attack should be automatically banned for life from owning another dog.

"However, we are opposed to this ban on a specific dog type, which we believe is not the most effective way to protect the public. Instead, we believe any breed of dog can be potentially out of control and dangerous in the wrong hands."

The Herald: The Dogs Trust has paused rescues of XL Bullies in ScotlandThe Dogs Trust has paused rescues of XL Bullies in Scotland (Image: PA)

The Dogs Trust, meanwhile, has paused any rescue of XL Bully dogs while it awaits the Scottish Government's decision. 

SNP Ministers have been criticised for taking their time to announce whether Scotland will follow suit with a ban on XL Bullies. 

Community safety Minister Siobhan Brown said this week that the Scottish Government is weighing up the evidence and had no timescale for a decision.

The delay has been labelled "extraordinary complacency" by the Tories, who say the Scottish public is being put at increased risk. 

Read more: XL Bully ban? The Scottish Government is right

Campaign group Bully Watch accused both the Scottish Government and Scottish SSPCA of being "asleep at the wheel". 

A spokesperson for the group, which records reports of XL Bully attacks in the UK, said: "We have seen an unpreceded movement of XL Bullies to Scotland on an alarming scale.

"Allowing these dogs to be placed in inexperienced Scottish households is a recipe for disaster. Someone is going to get seriously hurt in Scotland and it's only a matter of time."

Advice and further information about the XL Bully ban is available on the Dogs Trust website.