NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — It’s a sad ending to a two-year battle for one dog and his family in Northern Ireland.
Lennox, a 7-year-old American Bull Dog/Lab-mix, was was put to sleep in Belfast Wednesday morning.
He was seized from his home in 2005 by dog wardens in Belfast and deemed dangerous, despite no evidence of the dog being vicious.
Lennox’s seizure inspired a 2-year legal battle and spawned protests and candlelight vigils across the Atlantic, including New York City.
The dog was condemned to death after Northern Ireland’s senior appeals court last month upheld two 2011 court rulings that Lennox should be put down.
The dog’s family has argued that Lennox is not a pit-bull and has never attacked anyone.
Video on SaveLennox.com:
The dog’s family, along with U.K. dog trainer, author and TV host Victoria Stilwell, proposed the dog be re-homed with another family in the U.S. with Stillwell picking up the cost.
“I hoped Belfast City Council would realise that there were alternatives that provided a sanctuary for Lennox in the USA where he would be safe but they did not listen,” Stillwell said in a statement.
That request was denied. Last-minute protests and candlelight vigils were held in Belfast and at the British Consulate in New York City.
A protest is planned for Friday in New York by Animal rights group “No Kill New York” in front of the British Consulate.
NKNY’s founder Camille Hankins spoke to 1010 WINS about Lennox’s death. “We prefer to use the term killed rather than “put down” because there was nothing humane about his passing. It was not euthanasia. It was murder. It was killing. They killed the dog.”
“There was no reason for what they did, Hankins added. “What they did was callous, it was barbaric and it is a stain on Belfast. This is going to be something that is going to be hard for them to live down.”
Hankins also said Lennox is a prime example of the harsh occurrences that are currently taking place all over the world for no reason.
Lennox’s family issued the following statement Wednesday: “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.”
The BCC also posted the following statement on its website: “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.”
Hankins said there is already a talk about a boycott of anything coming from Northern Ireland, there is talk about a boycott of the Olympic Games because “Great Britain did nothing to intercede.”
“People are angry. People are angry.”
Do you agree with Breed-specific legislation? Share your thoughts on the Lennox case below.