A campaign has been launched to save the life of a young dog seized in Northern Ireland under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Five-year-old Lennox, an American Bulldog cross, was taken from the Barnes family home on the 19 May this year.
Lennox was declared a Pit Bull when a dog warden visited his home to deliver his dog licence. Lennox’s owner, Caroline Barnes, has learnt that this has recently become routine for Belfast City Council wardens; rather than post dog licences to owners of bull breeds, they hand deliver them.
Lennox is insured, microchipped, neutered, DNA registered and has been licensed with the council since he was a pup. Caroline said, “Had we not licensed Lennox then the council would never have known about him and he would still be at home with us now, curled up in front of the fire and not laying in some unknown cold concrete council kennel somewhere.”
The Barnes family are in complete turmoil having not been allowed to visit their dog for six months. They do not even know where Lennox is. Caroline has lost two stone and has had to go on antidepressants, and Brooke, her 12-year-old daughter who is registered disabled, has been so unwell that she has been unable to return to school. Brooke and Lennox were inseparable; on the days Brooke was ill Lennox would not leave her side, and would sit outside the bathroom when she was inside.
Lennox is extremely nervous around strangers and previously had not spent a night away from his family. Caroline has become used to carefully managing his stress but now has no idea how her dog is coping.
The council has confirmed that the kennels where Lennox is kept are manned for just four-and-a-half hours a day, yet Lennox has company for only ten minutes, when somebody comes to change his food. He will be locked away until his court case on the 23 November.
Caroline and her family are wholeheartedly appealing for support from fellow dog lovers.
There are a number of ways you can help. A petition that so far has been signed by over 6,000 people is available at http://www.petitiononline.com/sl190510/petition.html
Supporters are also asked to email Belfast City Council using the links on the ‘Save Lennox’ website (http://www.savelennox.co.uk), where there is a letter template available for download in a number of formats, too.
If you would like to show your support on Lennox’s Facebook page, which now has over 11,000 supporters, please visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Lennox/125005200853097%20#!/pages/Save-Lennox/125005200853097
Caroline said, “Having Lennox back home would be amazing, especially for our daughter, who he has grown up with. The feeling of separation that Brooke is experiencing is not helping her already complicated illness; a little innocent child shouldn’t have to deal with these emotions at such an early age.
“If Lennox was home it would end this nightmare, and it would be a celebration for all the hard work carried out by our supporters.”