The fight for Lennox‘s life was sadly ended today when he was euthanised by Belfast City Council following 2 years of legal appeals by his owners and huge public support for his release, including over 200,000 petition signatures.
In a statement, Belfast City Council said: “Belfast City Council confirmed today that the dog 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.”
This case has been an incredibly confusing one, with the Council’s “expert” describing the dog as “one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs” he had come across, however, photographs of Lennox sitting with his face just inches from the smiling Dog Warden suggesting otherwise.
It seems undeniable that Lennox’s condition whilst in the ‘care’ of Belfast City Council was sub-standard. This became clear from photograph’s (see SaveLennox.co.uk) of Lennox’s kennel and of his bodily condition, and especially comments from dog handling professionals such as Victoria Stillwell, well known dog trainer, who discussed Lennox’s poor fur condition, body sores and a neck injury (that he did not have prior to being taken away from his owners) in her Podcast in October 2011.
As there was no evidence to suggest Lennox had displayed any signs of being a dangerous dog prior to his kenneling, it’s easy to assume that this lack of proper care and attention could have been an important factor in Lennox’s supposed ‘unpredictable’ behaviour which led to the decision to euthanise him. We can’t know for sure but this case certainly raises a lot of serious questions and concerns about the responsibility of the Authorities when holding a dog in their care.
Although Lennox is gone, the fight against Breed Specific Legislation will continue and I would urge everyone reading this to please continue to learn more about BSL and why it doesn’t work, and do what you can to help bring an end to it.
You can sign petitions, you can write to your MP, write to government agencies and raise awareness in your local area – there’s lots you can do.
Rest in peace Lennox. We won’t forget you.
Find out more about BSL and how you can help to fight it at DDAWatch.co.uk