A NORTH Wales animal rescue is calling on the public to help four XL Bully dogs find forever homes before the breed is banned.

On Monday, UK Chief Vet Christine Middlemiss urged owners to take all necessary steps to ensure they are complying with the law.

The call comes with less than two weeks for the deadline for keeping XL Bully dogs on a lead and muzzled when in public.

It will also become illegal to breed, sell, advertise, gift, exchange, abandon, or let XL Bully dogs stray from this date.

As the deadline looms, Nicky Owen, media fundraising manager at North Clwyd Animal Rescue (NCAR), based near Holywell, said the organisation currently has four dogs which fall into the 'XL Bully' classification and need homes.

She explained: "We are putting posts out each day about these dogs and more information about each of them can be found on our website as well."

The four dogs looking for homes are Buttercup, Stitch, Enzo and Butch.

The Leader: Cclockwise from top left: Buttercup, Enzo, Stitch and Butch (NCAR)Cclockwise from top left: Buttercup, Enzo, Stitch and Butch (NCAR) (Image: NCAR)Ms Owen continued: "The sad thing is that normally if you adopt an animal from us and things don't work out, we can take them back - but in this case we can't.

"So we really need owners who are dedicated and will be able to take these dogs for life.

"They should be experienced dog owners because these are big breeds - they need responsible owners who are going to love and take responsibility for them.

The Leader: Nicky Owen (NCAR)Nicky Owen (NCAR) (Image: NCAR)"They will also need to make sure they're muzzled all the time and that they have the legal side all sorted - for example they will need to make sure they are insured.

"It is a big thing to ask someone to take on, but we have seen there are people out there who are willing to take them on.

"Time is ticking, sadly. But we hope to find them all a home."

There is also just over six weeks left to apply for an exemption certificate before the ban of the breed comes into force on February 1.

More than 4,000 applications have now been received by the Government, with the majority of certificates issued in less than a week.

Owners will need to provide proof that their dog has been microchipped and it will need to be neutered by June 30 for older dogs, and the end of 2024 if the dog is under one year old.

Ms Owen added: "We are happy to give people advice and help them through the process of registering their dogs, but please do not delay, time is running out and we want to make sure all these beautiful XL Bullies have a happy safe New Year ahead of them, rather than the sad one that sadly so many may fall into unless their owners take responsibility now and take action to protect them."