Lennox, an American bulldog-Labrador mix was killed July 11, 2012 in Belfast, Northern Ireland by city officials after a two-year incarceration in deplorable conditions. Lennox’s owners had done everything required by law to keep him as a companion to their disabled daughter. As a puppy, the Barnes family had him licensed, insured, microchipped, DNA registered, neutered, and Pet Safe registered. In spite of this, the dog was seized by the Belfast City Dog Wardens after partaking in tea with the family, chatting, and playing with their other dogs. A dressmaker’s tape was used to measure Lennox’s muzzle and rear legs and, based on that, they determined he may be of a pit bull type, which are illegal in the UK. They then seized Lennox, giving the Barnes nothing but a scribbled phone number and a first name for a reference.
The family was never told of his whereabouts, or his conditions, but eventually pictures emerged of him appearing in a small cell surrounded by his own excrement and sawdust bedding, which is considered harmful for dog respiratory systems. No food, water, or toys are visible either. An international campaign to save Lennox drew over 200,000 supporters including an adoption offer by celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell here in the United States where currently only certain cities (so ashamed to live in the Denver metro area right now!) have enacted breed-specific legislation.
Here is the official statement from Lennox’s family from their Facebook site:
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all again for your messages of support. We are sorry to say at the present time Belfast city council seem to be intent on killing our boy. Despite previous assurances otherwise, we have been denied the opportunity to say goodbye. We have also been told that we cannot collect his body and bring Len home. We have been informed however that we will receive “some” ashes in the mail.”
A Call to Action
I hope you are as outraged as I am! Anger can make us strong. It can be channeled to promote much-needed change! I’m not promoting violence, as some Belfast officials have received threats and vandalism during this campaign. Educate yourself and others so you may speak intelligently about Breed Specific Legislation. Thousands of dogs have lost their lives just for looking like a particular breed that happens to be the maligned dog of the day.