Lennox the Dog Put to Sleep in Belfast After Resembling Pit Bull
The two-year saga of 7-year-old Lennox the Dog has ended as the Belfast City Council has euthanized him putting him to sleep despite worldwide petition and protests in Belfast, Spain, and New York.
This was confirmed when a Belfast City Council spokesman released a statement that indeed Lennox the Dog has been put to death emphasizing that the safety of the public remains its key priority as reported by BelfastTelegraph.
“Lennox, an illegal pit-bull terrier type, has been humanely put to sleep. This was in accordance with the Order of the County Court which was affirmed by the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.
“Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety. The Council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”
“Over the past two years, Council officials have been subjected to a sustained campaign of abuse including threats of violence and death threats. The Council has been in ongoing contact with the PSNI in relation to that.
“The Council regrets that the court action was necessary but would emphasise that the safety of the public remains its key priority.”
Caroline Barnes, the dog’s owner, said her teenage daughter Brooke had been denied the chance to say a final farewell.
“We had told Brooke that even if we don’t win (the case), she can still see Lennox, have her last pictures with him and say goodbye. To then have to tell her that no, that is not happening, it has been extremely unfair.” Ms. Barnes said.
Lennox is an American Bull dog cross that the Barnes family have owned since he was a little pup. Two years ago, on May 19, 2010, Belfast City Council took him from the family’s home as they believe he falls under U.K.’s “Dangerous Dogs Act” (DDA) for Northern Ireland.
The Council declared Lennox the Dog to be a breed of “Pitbull Type” and so they wish to kill him simply because he has the appearance of the said breed and not because of his deeds. Under the DDA, if a dog’s measurements are in line with their standard for “pit bull types”, the dog can be seized without warrant and sentenced to death.
Lennox had never been reported for any act of aggression, and had never exhibited a single sign of misbehavior. In fact, as a responsible dog owner, Ms. Barnes had him microchipped, neutered, DNA registered, insured, and even had a valid city-issued dog license.
Since the capture of Lennox the Dog by the Belfast City Council, thousands of pleas from noted dog behavioral experts and celebrities emerged, including an online petition addressed to the First and Deputy First Minister for Northern Ireland to save him from death.
Victoria Stilwell, the host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog,” who earlier offered to personally cover all costs related to Lennox’s rehoming with her in the United States, reacted to the execution of the dog.
“Outraged & devastated for the Barnes family. I think the council had something to prove, and they were going to do it even though it was wrong. Don’t trust your council and don’t trust your county. There are vindictive people dead set against bully breeds who will find you and take your dogs away,” Stilwell said.
“We must target the deed not the breed. We must hold irresponsible pet owners accountable. Dogs of any breed can be fantastic, and dogs of any breed can be dangerous. Breed-specific law is flawed; it just doesn’t work,” she added.