THE Scottish SPCA’s rehoming pages on its website have been down for several days due to “technical issues,” the charity has confirmed.

The animal welfare charity’s website usually lists dogs, cats, rabbits and small animals which can be adopted although the facility has been unavailable the last few days.

It comes as the organisation tries to find homes for four XL bully-type dogs, with the introduction of a ban on the breed coming into force on Friday.

What are the restrictions?

As of Friday, it will be illegal to have an XL bully in public without a muzzle or lead and it will also be against the law to breed, sell, abandon or give away an XL bully.

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The Scottish Government said the definition of an XL bully will be the same as that used by the UK Government.

Guidelines state the large dogs have “a muscular body and blocky head, suggesting great strength and power for its size”.

The estimated height of the dogs is approximately 51cm at the withers for an adult male and 48cm for an adult female.

If owners do not follow the rules, they could face six months in prison or a £5000 fine. From July 31, owners will require an exemption certificate, or have applied for one, to keep their XL bully.

What has the SSPCA said?

The SSPCA said the issues on its website had nothing to do with an influx of pets needing rehomed.

Two of the XL bully-type dogs were unable to find homes before the ban came into force.

The charity said it would “continue to care for the XL bully type dogs that are currently in our care”.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “From today it will be illegal for the Scottish SPCA to rehome any XL bullies in our care.

“Due to the current judicial review, we will continue to care for the XL bully type dogs that are currently in our care until we have more information on a timeline. We will continue to monitor the dogs’ welfare in the same way as we would for any kennelled dog.

"Our teams work incredibly hard to find homes before the February 23 deadline for XL bully dogs in our care that were ready for rehoming.

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“All the rehomed dogs had undergone veterinary and behavioural assessments and we also considered the unique circumstances of the adopter and their ability to provide for the animal’s welfare needs. So we ensure we match pets to the best possible home.

“We have sadly been unable to find suitable homes for two XL bully dogs in our care. It is not appropriate to discuss the cases of individual dogs.”