Hulk Hogan’s fighting talk to encourage people to give Staffies a chance

Hulk Hogan meets Staffie Marcel
Hulk Hogan meets Marcel
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
27 January 2012

Wrestling star Hulk Hogan has thrown his weight behind Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s campaign showing that Staffordshire Bull Terriers are softer than people think.

The former world Heavyweight Wrestling Champion met Battersea resident, 10-year-old Staffie Marcel, during a recent visit to the UK with his wife, Jennifer McDaniel. As a dog lover, and owner of four Chihuahuas, the sporting legend is backing Battersea’s calls for people to challenge the misconceptions which surround the breed.

Hulk Hogan said: “It’s not too often that I reveal my soft side, but I have to admit that I have a soft spot for dogs like Marcel. I hope that more people will get to know Staffies for the great dogs they really are. Staffies really are softer than you think and don’t deserve the tough fighting image they have been tarnished with.”

Staffie Marcel came into Battersea when his owner died last November. The elderly gent has become a firm favourite at the Home, earning the nickname Steptoe for his comedic ways. He is looking for a home where he can happily spend his twilight years playing with tennis balls and enjoying lots of cuddles.

Battersea recently revealed the findings of a YouGov survey that 23% of respondents based their knowledge on Staffies on what they read in news reports, which sadly often portray the breed as dangerous and aggressive which actually could not be further from the truth.

The survey also found that:

  • 18-24 year olds are more likely to describe Staffies as guard dogs (27 per cent) or illegal dogs (14 per cent rather than family dogs (11 per cent)
  • Londoners are most likely to see the breed in their neighbourhood (41 per cent) yet only 9 per cent of people in the Capital admit to owning a Staffie breed or knowing people who own the breed.

Battersea is working hard to help people to see that Staffies are not inherently dangerous but that they are used and abused by a minority of owners who are more concerned about their image than the welfare of their dog and irresponsibly train them to be aggressive.

In addition, around 40% of the dogs which fill Battersea’s kennels are Staffies, the majority of which have been carelessly cast aside by their owners when the novelty of owning a pet wears off.

Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive, said: ““Staffies have been dealt a cruel hand these days, so much so that more people consider the dog to be a fighting dog than a family dog. It’s time we gave the breed a chance and got to know Staffies for the lovely, friendly dogs they really are. We’re so pleased that Hulk has lent his support to our efforts to help more people see how soft Staffies can be.”

If you think you can offer a home to Marcel, or any of the other hundreds of dogs and cats currently waiting for new homes at Battersea, log onto, or call the rehoming team on 020 7627 9234.


For more information and images please contact Battersea press office on 0207 627 9317 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2116 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 18th November 2011.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). 

  • Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help.  We reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners through our Lost Dogs & Cats Line or care for them until new homes can be found for them, giving them shelter and the highest standards of kennelling and veterinary care. 
  • Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
  • In 2010 the Home cared for almost 7,000 dogs and 3,000 cats.
  • It costs over £14 million to run Battersea Dogs & Cats Home each year.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives no government funding and relies on the generosity and support of the public to help care for lost and abandoned dogs & cats. To make a donation visit our website or call 0870 890 0000.
  • In addition to the site in South West London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home rehomes dogs and cats all over the UK.
  • For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home please visit

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