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In Memory Of Lennox, Dog Put To Death For Resembling A Pit Bull

In Memory Of Lennox, Dog Put To Death For Resembling A Pit Bull


A determined 22-month long legal battle and a heartfelt social-media campaign for Lennox the dog, came to a sad end on Wednesday. The 7-year-old dog was euthanized in Northern Ireland because his appearance resembled a pit bull terrier, a breed that is banned in the country.

A statement from the Belfast City Council said it had humanely destroyed “one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs” that its appointed expert had ever come across. The council said they carried out the court-ordered euthanasia for reasons of public safety and “a sustained campaign of abuse” against city officials from protestors.

Lennox’s story began two years ago when he was taken into custody because he looked like a pit bull dog. Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are outlawed in Britain.

Caroline Barnes, who owned Lennox, testified in court that her dog was a bull dog mix, not a pit bull terrier and that he had never bitten anyone. She asked the court to let her move Lennox outside of Northern Ireland in an area that did not have breed specific legislation. She wanted Lennox to come to a sanctuary in the United States.

News of Lennox’s case launched a massive online campaign by animal lovers in Britain and the U.S. to save the dog’s life. The commitment of tens of thousands of “Save Lennox” fans, LennoxArmy followers and Care2 petitioners continued during the entire 22-months he was imprisoned.

Barnes fought for her dog’s life in the court system until the very end. After nearly two years, Lennox’s fate was determined last month when an appeal was dismissed by Northern Ireland’s senior judges. The judges upheld two 2011 rulings to have Lennox euthanized.

Meanwhile Lennox endured the time at a municipal animal shelter in Belfast where employees claimed he was becoming more aggressive and unpredictable.

Councilman Pat McCarthy said, “The people looking after Lennox for the past two years said that one minute the dog was placid and friendly, and the next he would try to get through the fence to get at you.”

Perhaps Lennox was getting as frustrated with the legal process as the humans fighting for his life.

Victoria Stilwell, host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me Or the Dog,” said “I hoped Belfast City Council would realize that there were alternatives that provided a sanctuary for Lennox in the USA where he would be safe, but they did not listen.”

On the final day Caroline Barnes and Lennox were refused the last shred of humanity that could have been given; Barnes was not allowed to be with her dog when he died.

A Facebook page for Lennox gave an “official statement” from the family: “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”

Rest In Peace, Lennox.

Take Action: Please Sign Lennox’ Law

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Photo Credit: FacebookSaveLennoxtheDog

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1:55PM PDT on Mar 30, 2014


8:46AM PST on Nov 21, 2013

It's really hard not say exactly what I think of the Belfast city council. I'd like to say it to their face - but then when dealing with people like them - it really wouldn't do any good anyway - - -

3:18AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Je suis si triste pour toute votre famille qui subit la perte de votre compagnon. Repose en paix, Lennox.

7:41PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

What a barbaric group of SOBs. Of course none of the staff at the shelter would lie on this dog, right? Placid and friendly one moment, trying to get at you the next. Ummm, I wonder if maybe one of the idiots there were poking sticks thru the fence at Lennox to provoke the dog. I wasn't there, but it makes one wonder. The dog was even tempered when it goes into the shelter then all of a sudden its temperament begins to "change". And what was the harm in Lennox's owners being with their dog when it was put down to comfort both the dog and themselves. Not allowing this was pure and simple cruelty. I've read that Winston Churchhill was said to resemble a pit bull. I wonder if this had anything to do with anything?????

12:09PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

I am so sorry for Caroline and her family,RIP Lennox.

2:16PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

This is tragic. I have adopted a part pitbull puppy. You couldn't find a more loving dog. But there are those idiots who come up to me on the street and say things like:
- That's a very strong dog, you don't let her sleep in the house do you?
- You're not going to keep that dog, are you? She shouldn't be with a woman.
- If you give me the dog, I can make a fighter out of her.
- It's a waste for you to have that dog.

I can't stand some people - they have about as much sense as a stone and I hope these people never, ever become dog owners.

7:19AM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

This story is so extremly sad , unfair and wrong :(

12:22PM PDT on Sep 17, 2013

Those judges who ruled it should better go and f**k each other! How are they going to determine the dogs emotion if they aren't dog themselves.

8:08AM PDT on Sep 17, 2013

Poor puppy. His owner certainly fought the good fight for him.

10:36PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

The people who did this are worthless barbaric POS

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