A Bushey resident, formerly from St Albans, has said it is "outrageous" that her dog was reported to the council as an "unmuzzled XL Bully". 

Carer Eleisha Serbest claims her three-year-old pet Blue is a Pocket Bully, but was mistaken for the restricted breed by someone complaining to Hertsmere Borough Council.

She received a letter today (January 15) from the local authority warning that someone had reported that the "suspected XL Bully" was allegedly "being walked off a lead without a muzzle".

Doing so with the breed was made illegal on December 31.

But Eleisha claims her "loving" pet is actually a cross of the American Bully and Patterdale terrier, which is unaffected by the new restrictions as it is the smallest type in the American Bully family.

Herts Advertiser: Three year-old Blue is a Pocket Bully and not affected by the new regulations.Three year-old Blue is a Pocket Bully and not affected by the new regulations. (Image: Eleisha Serbest)

In a social media post she also claimed "we have put her in a muzzle" and "she's always on the lead".

Eleisha, who lives in central Bushey with son Leo, 5, and daughter Zara, 3, added: “She’s like another family member. I used to call her the nanny because she would watch the children all day.

“I let them go outside in the garden and she would be on and off the trampoline with them.”

Herts Advertiser: Carer Eleisha with her son Leo and daughter Zara.Carer Eleisha with her son Leo and daughter Zara. (Image: Eleisha Serbest)

But the dog owner was upset when she opened the letter warning that she would face an unlimited fine, a prison sentence and the possible euthanisation of her pet if found to be breaking the law.

She said she bought the small bulldog two-and-a-half years ago when it was a puppy and named her after the children’s show Blue’s Clues and her eye colour.

Herts Advertiser: Eleisha said Blue has been loving with her children Leo, 5, and Zara, 3.Eleisha said Blue has been loving with her children Leo, 5, and Zara, 3. (Image: Eleisha Serbest)

The carer moved to Bushey from St Albans in January last year and says there is a stigma around bulldogs due to their perceived “dangerous” nature.

Eleisha said: “People look at her and think she’s vicious, that she’s going to bite you.

“Blue is so playful and would never harm other dogs.”

The XL Bully breed was added to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 on December 31 2023, which made it illegal to sell, give away, breed or walk them without a muzzle.

From February 1, it will also be an offence to own one in England and Wales without a certificate of exemption.

A spokesperson for Hertsmere Borough Council said: “When a report of an XL Bully is received, we send a letter informing the owner of the new laws which came in to effect on December 31.

"This is to encourage owners to take the legal steps required to keep the dog in accordance with the new restrictions. Enforcement of these restrictions sits with the police.”