A family of dog lovers had their holiday plans thrown into disarray after being told their three Staffordshire bull terriers were not welcome at the campsite they had booked.
Jake Blackburn, 23, said he had booked Oxwich Camping Park for eight people this coming Friday to Sunday, along with his family’s three Staffordshire bull terriers – Bleu, Zane and Zeus.
The dogs ranged in age from eight months to three years, Jake said.
The camping park is a popular tourist destination, well-liked for its isolated location with a 10-minute walk to Oxwich Beach, one of Gower’s most expansive stretches of sand.
Jake, from Sandfields, Port Talbot, says he became concerned after seeing on the venue’s social media pages that “large dogs and certain dog breeds” are not allowed at the site.
The posts had since disappeared from the page, he said.
Seeking some clarification before the trip, the 23-year-old phoned the camping park to find out which breeds were not allowed to stay. He was subsequently told the family’s dogs would not be welcome, he says.
Jake said the family was all “really upset” by the decision.
“We have never been put in a situation where we have been turned away because of the dog,” he said.
“I think there is such a negative association towards Staffordshire bull terriers. At the end of the day, it’s all down to how the owner brings them up.”
Bleu, his dog, was the “love of [his] life”, he said.
“She wakes up with me before I go to work and waits for me to make her scrambled eggs.
“These dogs aren’t nasty, evil or vicious. They are the most caring dog breed I have ever come across, it is really disappointing.”
The Staffordshire bull terrier club website states that the breed frequently gets tarnished by the reputation of pit bulls.
“Staffordshire bull terriers are an entirely different breed, but many people will lump all of these similar-looking dogs together as potentially dangerous,” the site reads.
“Thus, Staffordshire bull terriers may be targeted for ‘banning’ in certain areas, or refusal of homeowner insurance policies.”
Blackburn said it was rare that both him and his girlfriend had weekends off with the family.
“We wanted to use this weekend with the dogs being there and a change of scenery but now we have had to look elsewhere.”