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Belfast City Council EXECUTED an innocent dog.

Updated on July 19, 2012

Since this article was published, Lennox has been killed by Belfast City Council.

Note from author: I am shocked, disgusted, and appalled. At 7am, on July 11th 2012, Belfast City Council went ahead and MURDERED Lennox. There were other options, but the evil decision makers had to drive their point home. I am so sorry that Lennox couldn't be saved.
Rest in peace, sweet boy, you're away from it all now.

The eyes of the world turn once again to the plight of Lennox, a labrador-mix dog who, in 2010, was seized by Belfast dog wardens, solely based upon the fact that he looks like a Pitbull. Using a simple tape measure, officials at Belfast City Council (BCC) deemed him to fit within the Pitbull-type breed guidelines, and subsequently ordered him to be killed.

Lennox has never bitten anyone. He has never so much as growled at someone. So why has this atrocious act of animal cruelty been allowed to happen? In the UK, a law was brought in to practice which makes certain breeds of dog illegal. The Pitbill is one such breed banned in Britain and Northern Ireland, and each day, thousands of doomed breeds are 'euthanized' under this law. It doesn't matter if they pose no threat, or that they're from a loving, caring family. If they match the guidelines drawn up by so-called 'experts', they're faced with certain death.

Appalling conditions have affected Lennox's health
Appalling conditions have affected Lennox's health

Option to relocate Lennox falls on deaf ears

For 2 years Lennox has been kept by BCC in appalling conditions at a secret location. Recent photographs of him show him to be underweight, with some sort of severe skin problems, where large areas of his fur have fallen out. No doubt stress and anxiety have played a major factor in the obvious health issues that have befallen this dog during his ordeal, not made any easier by the fact that his family have not once been allowed to visit their pet.

People from all over the world have joined in the various support strategies for saving Lennox, including celebrities such as well known dog lover and trainer Victoria Stilwell, Cesar Millan, and a number of Hollywood stars - with social networks like Facebook and Twitter showing thousands of positive messages from those following Lennox's story. Victoria Stilwell has even pledged to fund the cost of transferring the dog to a new home here in America, where breed laws are non-existant, but as yet, no one at BCC will give a definitive answer.

Dog handler caught on camera

Deadline after deadline for the decision on Lennox's fate has been passed in the last 12 months, with an extension being issued for more information and more assessments of his temperament and demeanor. Photographs have also been leaked to the press, showing one of the dog warden responsible for stating under oath that she, "fears being near Lennox due to his aggression", laughing and hugging the dog while he licks her face. And yet still BCC insist that on Wednesday morning GMT, Lennox will be killed.

I cannot begin to comprehend the hurt that Lennox's family is going through, or how many times they have been given hope only to have it dashed again. The Barnes family's plight has been heard time and time again by callous judges in Northern Ireland, and even the close bond between Lennox and his owner's disabled daughter has had no effect on cold-hearted officials. The BSL (breed-specific legislation) is without doubt an ethical failure, and a public safety failure at that. Even if Lennox was a Pitbull, like any other dog, be it a poodle or a rottweiler, a dog's temperament is based upon how it was raised. If an animal is raised to be a fighter, then it will be aggressive, and common sense should indicate that in the case of Lennox, whose breed is a labrador-mix!

Make the right decision...

The UK needs to re-think its ludicrious, inhumane laws. If a pet owner were to be seen treating an animal in the same way that BCC have treated Lennox, the animal would have been removed, and the owner prosecuted or even jailed. So why are the council of a tourist-dependant city like Belfast, willing to risk having the world's back turned on it, all for the sake of trying to prove a point? The option to allow Lennox to go home, or to be relocated to the USA is there. Let's hope and pray that someone with a heart will make the right decision to save this innocent dog's life.

The world's sentiments...


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