A REDDITCH woman is hoping to change people's perceptions of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, commonly thought of as dangerous dogs.

Qualified dog trainer Jess Taylor-Jones is campaigning to show people the softer side of Staffies as happy, healthy dogs waiting to be found homes.

The owner of Redditch Dog Walking, and mom of two who has three dogs, said: "I have worked within the rescue sector for the last few years and during that time I have worked with a lot of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and fallen in love with the breed.

"Whilst working with these dogs in the stray pounds I realised just how many Staffies were overlooked and how much of a bad reputation they unfairly have.

"We are trying to raise awareness for what a beautiful loving breed they are and tear down some stereotypes by holding Staffy September - we are offering free walks to Staffies throughout September, we are also featuring Staffies from local rescues on our facebook page in order to help find them their forever home, we are also holding a 'happiest Staffy' online competition."

As part of the campaign Jess will be taking her dog Max to different schools in the town to give free talks to children regarding safe handling of dogs.

She has already visited year 4 pupils at Astwood Bank to teach children the warning signs that a dog may be unhappy in an attempt to reduce the rising statistics of children getting bites from dogs.

For more information, go to facebook.com/RedditchDogWalking.

Earlier this year there were demands that the nation’s huge population of Staffies be outlawed alongside pit bulls and three other “fighting dogs” – the Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasiliero – but Ministers ruled out the move.

It caused a dog fight between animal welfare groups, with PETA’s calls for the breed ban under the Dangerous Dogs Act rebutted by a host of leading charities.