The dog whose only crime was resembling a pit bull was euthanized today, after a deadline for legal appeals expired.
His execution – despite 200,000 signatures supporting a reprieve — brings an end to an international effort to save him.
The BBC reports that the city council issued a statement that read:
“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.”
In June, after two lower courts had already ruled that the dog should be put down, Northern Ireland’s highest court rejected Caroline Barnes’ legal bid to overturn an order calling for the destruction of her pet.
Ms. Barnes insisted that Lennox was not dangerous, and her battle to save Lennox snowballed into an often-heated international campaign to save his life.
One Belfast councillor has received a death threat over Lennox’s proposed destruction, the BBC reported, and workers in Belfast City Council have become the target of a fresh series of intimidating messages.
Lennox was impounded by Belfast City Council’s dog wardens in May of 2010, when a new breed specific law went into effect, banning pit bull types in the UK.
Among those calling for Lennox to be spared were boxer Lennox Lewis, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and television dog training expert Victoria Stillwell, who had offered to have Lennox re-homed in America where he would not be in contact with the public.
Stillwell said she was “absolutely devastated” that Lennox had been put down. “I hoped Belfast City Council would realize that there were alternatives that provided a sanctuary for Lennox in the USA where he would be safe but they did not listen,” she said.
Stillwell said requests that the family be allowed to visit the dog one last time before he was put down were declined — as were requests to allow the family see the dog after he was euthanized.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
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Lennox the alleged pit bull is scheduled to be euthanized in Belfast this week, despite continuing international efforts to save him.
A protest Saturday in Belfast included demonstrators who flew in from the U.S., England and Dublin, according to UTV in Belfast, and demonstrations are scheduled at the British and Irish consulates in New York today, organized by No Kill New York.
Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on the Animal Planet network, offered to find Lennox a new home in the U.S., and cover all expenses, but on Sunday she told msnbc.com she has received no response.
The 7-year-old dog was seized in 2010 after pit bulls were banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dog act.
The dog’s owners say he is an American bulldog-Labrador mix, but dog wardens, after taking measurements, declared him a “possible pitbull type” and claimed that — though he has bitten no one and been the subject of no complaints — he had a personality disorder.
Protesters say they are trying to raise awareness not only about Lennox but also to show that breed specific legislation is unfair.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bans, belfast, breed, breed bans, breeds, dangerous, demonstrations, dogs, euthanasia, execution, facebook, ireland, laws, lennox, news, offer, pets, pit bull, pitbull, protests, save lennox, twitter, uk, victoria stilwell
Lennox, locked up as he has been, hasn’t been running for two years now, but his story has, around the world.
Now it appears, despite a massive online campaign to save him, his time has run out.
After three court hearings, orders to execute him — because of his resemblance to a pit bull — have come down from the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. (Now there’s a scary title.)
The seven-year-old dog was seized in May 2010 from his owner, Caroline Barnes, after amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act were extended to Northern Ireland in 2011.
Two lower courts have already ruled that he should be put down because he poses a risk to the public under that legislation, which declares all pit bull types dangerous.
During his year on death row, lawyers presented evidence that Lennox has never bitten anyone and has behaved well since being impounded, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
In the latest, and final, court decision, judges said dog wardens who tried to examine Lennox in May 2010 were told by a man that the dog would “rip their head off.”
An expert dog handler retained by the City Council concluded that the dog had a severe personality defect.
Experts presented in Lennox’s defense, meanwhile, described him as well-handled and a wonderful family dog, who served to comfort the Barnes special needs children before the city took him away.
“Lennox will essentially be killed for looking like a pit bull not actually acting like one,” Patrick Roberts opined in Irish Central.
“It is like saying every Catholic in Northern Ireland should be jailed because some in the past were violent.”
While a date hasn’t been specified, officials say his euthanization is imminent.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bans, belfast, breed specific legislation, campaign, caroline barnes, dangerous, dangerous dogs act, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, execute, execution, internet, ireland, lennox, lord chief justice, online, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, put down, save, save lennox
For almost two years now, the Belfast dog has been sitting in limbo, as courts in Ireland decide whether to euthanize him.
Seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens in May 2010, due to his likeness to the banned pit-bull breed, Lennox recently celebrated a second birthday on death row, and supporters marked the occasion by sending birthday cards to him — in care of the Lord Mayor of Belfast
His owner Caroline Barnes, who is appealing a court ruling to put him down, says Lennox is a American bull dog-Labrador mix who, in addition to never having bitten anyone, is a best friend of her disabled daughter.
Last October, in the latest development in the long-running case, a judge upheld a court decision that Lennox should be put to sleep.
The decision to terminate the family pet prompted an online Save Lennox campaign, which has generated almost 60,0000 Facebook supporters and almost 127,000 signatures of support. Barnes started the birthday card campaign as well.
Belfast City Council confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that it had received a number of cards for Lennox wishing him a happy birthday. (It was April 1.)
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the wonderful, beautiful, supportive and very creative messages and artwork received over the past few days,” Barnes said on the “Save Lennox” Facebook page. “Really means a lot and it has touched our family very much. Thank you all.”
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 24.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, belfast, birthday, birthday cards, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, campaign, death row, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, ireland, lennox, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, put down, put to sleep, save, save lennox