Lennox - why we'll never forget you

The Barnes family were told Lennox was to be killed at 7am this morning - yet four hours later the council still hadn't confirmed that the execution had took place.
Could Belfast City Council be any more cruel?
Here's the general press statement they issued: 

"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. The Council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across. Over the past two years, Council officials have been subjected to a sustained campaign of abuse including threats of violence and death threats. The Council has been in ongoing contact with the PSNI in relation to that. The Council regrets that the court action was necessary but would emphasise that the safety of the public remains its key priority."

We have five pages on the Lennox case in the August issue out tomorrow. We show that Belfast City Council refused all approaches for a solution that could have given Lennox one last independent assessment from a world expert, Jim Crosby, who has assessed 30 dogs that have actually killed people rather than just looked like Pit Bulls. Victoria Stilwell had a plan in place to remove Lennox from Northern Ireland, but these offers were not even considered.

Even the handling of Lennox's execution has been extremely poor. 

And is Lennox really such a danger to society that his body can't now be released to his owners for burial?
It's true that passions have run very high in this case, but if you kill an innocent member of someone's family there will be anger and outrage - and every dog lover on the planet can feel that today.
If one or two people have expressed it to individuals who are probably just pawns in this too is a mater for regret.
It is the flawed law and the Council that should bare the guilt and shame.
RIP Lennox. You're in a place now where people hopefully don't judge you on appearance.
I'm sure dog expert Jim Crosby would be able to educate Belfast City Council as what "the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across" were. And I suspect they are dogs that have actually damaged people. Does the above press statement mean that no one has ever been bitten by a dog in Belfast?
For the record one last time.
No one had ever complained about Lennox.
No one was ever bitten by Lennox.

Let's vow to take some of our emotions on this terrible day and use them to try to change the world so this never happens again. Please write some words about Lennox  and why dogs generally deserve better. Here's my personal thoughts, please do add yours, too...

We may never hear precisely when Belfast City Council killed Lennox and who took the shilling to do it.
The poor dog was guilty until proven innocent as soon as a tape measure decided he was a Pit Bull and then he lost all rights to normal justice.


 Illustration by Kevin Brockbank, August 2012 Dogs Today

No visiting rights. Unlike a human on death row, no chance to say goodbye. Locked up for two years away from his family. Not even to be returned to them in death - they were just offered some ashes in the post.
The world has looked on in disbelief and horror.
Victoria Stilwell has been totally magnificent in this crisis and she is still there in Belfast - still fighting for justice until all hope is gone. Expert witness the amazing Sarah Fisher and her husband actor Anthony Head were also at the candlelight vigil for Lennox in Belfast last night and if hopes and prayers could change fate, dog lovers around the world would have given Lennox the miracle he needed.
But despite the most logical clemency pleas that could have saved Belfast's reputation, the Council seemed hell-bent on killing a dog who has never hurt anyone.
We've got five pages on this story in our August issue. Lennox will be a martyr, much more dangerous to the reputation of the judicial system in death than he ever was to the general public while alive.
Breed Specific Legislation is legal prejudice and deserves no place on the statute books of a civilised nation. We'd not agree to racial profiling to label all foreigners with certain physical qualities as terrorists or accept a law that measures a person's biceps to decide if they're likely to be violent in the future.
Looks in this case can kill and it's the innocent that are dying.
Let's fight on together to get rid of pointless laws that don't protect the public and result in dogs like Lennox being posted home in the mail to a family who fought so hard to save their best friend.
RIP Lennox, we'll never forget you and why you died.

Please leave your tribute to Lennox below in the comments section. A virtual book of memories that shows the world we'll never forget.

 Illustration by Kevin Brockbank, August 2012 Dogs Today


Denise Lytle said…
A part of me has died...a part of me always dies when injustice causes unnecessary death. Lennox, maybe you're better off where you are now, since no one will treat you like some horrible, unwanted criminal anymore & you can be free in every sense of the word! Rest in peace, sweet little boy.
Debbie Crowe said…
I never even heard of 'Breed Specific Legislation' until I read about Lennox about a year ago. It is WRONG in many ways!
Lennox was NOT even part Pittbull. From what I read or saw of him, he seemed to be a little sweetheart. I fell in love with him, and I am a 'cat' person!!
My heart breaks for his family and everyone who loves him!
He may not be with his family, but he is 'Free' of the prison he was in for 2 very long years!!
Rest in Peace little one. You are loved by thousands of people!!!
Sharon said…
It would seem that instead of moving forward we are going back to the more barbaric! To 'murder' a dog because it is a specific breed is a disgrace in this day and age! His only 'crime' was to supposedly be a pit bull, but even this is not a reason to kill him, especially as it was not proven that he was actually a pit bull! It was a sad day when Lennox was taken from his family, and a devastating one when he was murdered by people who should have known better. R.I.P. Lennox, safe now over the Rainbow Bridge, running free and happy. Thoughts are with his family. xxxx
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