There might still be time! It is thought Lennox is due to be put to sleep on the 10th of July, but please don’t give up fighting yet! There are efforts for pardon of Lennox underway, with protests being organised. See the North Country Gazette article here for details and for a template email with addresses to be sent to the House of Commons and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Lennox is a 7 yr old American Bull dog Labrador cross owned by his family since he was a pup. Loveable and playful, he has never bitten or attacked anyone or anything, and there have been no public complaints made against him. His responsible owners had Lennox microchipped, neutered, DNA Registered, Pet Safe Registered, Insured and Licensed every year with the Council.
Background to case
On Wednesday the 19th May 2010 Lennox was taken from his family home by Belfast City Council as they believed he falls under the Dangerous Dogs Act for Northern Ireland as a ‘Pit Bull Type’, despite there being no complaint against him, and no professional guidance being sought by the council.
The council “used a wrongly addressed warrant and using copyright ADBA (American Dog Breeders Association) breed standards guide which the Council were never authorised to use, in doing so the Council broke international copyright laws and for doing so have been issued with a ‘Cease & Desist‘ order from ADBA Inc.” (extract from Save Lennox Facebook Page).
Two lower courts have already ruled that Lennox should be put down because he poses a risk to the public under dangerous dogs legislation.
The case was taken to the Court of Appeal after lawyers for Lennox’s owner, Caroline Barnes, argued the dog had never attacked anyone and wasn’t dangerous.
Sadly, on Tuesday 12th June three senior judges dismissed Ms Barnes’ appeal.
Despite rumours that he had been put to sleep within hours of the ruling, Lennox will not be destroyed until Belfast City Council is completely satisfied that all legal options have been exhausted, it has been confirmed.
Lennox looks set to be put to death next week on the 10th July after his owner indicated she will not be pursuing the case at the Supreme Court in London, according to the Belfast Telegraph today (4th July).
The owners said if their offer to have Lennox rehomed in the USA was rejected, they would repeat their request to be allowed to say a final farewell to their pet.
Official Statement From Lennox’s Family: Monday 2nd July
(via the Save Lennox website.)
“We apologise for the silence as we know our many friends and supporters around the world have been desperate for news but until we had further talks with our legal team we had nothing new to share. We needed to explore all possible options before we issued another statement as we did not wish to give those that have campaigned so tirelessly any false hope or for anything to be taken out of context as has happened in the past.
Whilst there may well be errors in the Judge’s ruling from a point of law this has little bearing on whether we can or should progress by taking the case to a higher court. The ruling is based on the Judge’s decision that he deems Lennox to be unsafe despite evidence given by those qualified to assess and understand dog behaviour that contradicts the testimony of the Prosecution that was presented in court. This has given us little room for manoeuvre.
Our concern and priority has always been the welfare of our beloved boy. We have fought to have Len returned to our family from the moment he was seized but we have been advised that the legal fight is at an end. We are obviously distraught but have to consider the impact that any future lengthy legal battle would have on Len if we chose to go against the advice that we have been given. We cannot subject him to any more as there are no grounds for a further appeal and we do not wish to prolong his suffering any longer by engaging in a battle that we simply cannot win.
We have attempted to write this statement many, many times but have struggled to put in writing that the fight to spare Lennox’s life may well be over. It has been almost impossible for us to accept that we have to admit defeat. We always believed that there was some hope and that justice would prevail. We were wrong. There have been many dark days for us since Len was taken and we want you all to know that it is your support and kindness that kept us going through the blackest times.
This is all we can share with you at the moment and we are finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing more that we can do from a legal point of view and that Lennox may well be killed. We have one last hope that Belfast City Council will allow Lennox to be rehomed in the USA. The offer is there but we have no say in whether this offer will be accepted. We have never refused to rehome Lennox. That decision was taken out of our hands from the moment Len took his final walk with us from our house to the Dog Wardens van.
If the offer is turned down we will fight for our right to say goodbye. We cannot bear the thought that Lennox will die without being reminded of the hearts and hands that love him.
How you can help
As well as emailing the House of Commons and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (see top of this post), go to the ‘How You Can Help Page’ of the Save Lennox website for details of how you can help, for example by emailing the Lord Mayor, Belfast City Council, Belfast City Council Dog Wardens, Belfast City Council Dog Control Manager and her superiors. The page includes contact details and a template letter.
You can also raise awareness of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) on social network sites and amongst friends & family by joining & sharing the many Pages and Groups set up, and by sharing the Save Lennox website, and the DDA Watch website, which was set up to monitor ‘dangerous’ dog legislation and educate, assist and campaign. The DDA Watch believe that NO dog is inherently dangerous.
Please, please keep fighting, and if you haven’t done so already sign the petition.
The only official Save Lennox Campaign links are as follows:
Related Comets Corners Blogs:
BSL and Dog Welfare
The truth about ‘Pit Bulls’
Keep the Staffordshire Bull Terrier OFF the Dangerous Dogs Act!
- ‘Save Lennox’ campaign defeated – Pitbull lookalike dog’s family give up their fight for his life -VIDEO (irishcentral.com)
- Death row dog Lennox to be put to death next week (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Save and release Lennox: one petition (our-compass.org)
- This is Lennox. He is about to be killed for looking like a pit bull | Beverley Cuddy (guardian.co.uk)
- World emotion for Belfast dog condemned to death by city council (vancouverdesi.com)
- Belfast City Council is Torturing “Lennox” a Disabled Child’s Therapy Dog (sott.net)
- Tragedy strikes “Save Lennox” campaign – Belfast court rules that pit bull-like dog to be killed (irishcentral.com)
- Dog whisperer Cesar Millan joins fight to ‘Save Lennox’ the dog from death row (irishcentral.com)
- SHOCKING & INHUMANE BEHAVIOUR: Belfast City Council is Torturing “Lennox” a Disabled Child’s Therapy Dog (straydogsworldwide.wordpress.com)
- Family admits defeat in battle to save death row dog Lennox (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
Please visit our online pet accessories store Comets Corners for more details on how we – and you – can help! For every sale we make, at least 10% of our proceeds goes to our chosen animal welfare charity or organisation of the month!
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