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Dog Destroyed for Looking Like a Pit Bull

Dog Destroyed for Looking Like a Pit Bull

On July 10, 2012, in Belfast, Ireland, an innocent dog, who had never displayed any signs of aggression, was destroyed for looking like a Pit Bull, a breed not allowed in Britain. (Lennox was, actually, a bull dog mix.) After nearly two years of enormous public outrage, professional evaluations by esteemed behaviorists, petitions, huge social media campaigns, and heartbreak felt by his family and dog lovers worldwide, nothing could stop the Belfast City Council from killing Lennox. The gentle, beautiful dog gave his life because of the outdated, uneducated Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) laws.

A few days ago, Victoria Stilwell voiced her opinion on BBC Radio as she spoke with Pat McCarthy, the head of Belfast City Council’s Environmental Health Committee. Victoria had personally offered to bring Lennox to the United States, where he could live his life in a sanctuary. Not only was she denied, but the Barnes family, the people who had to relinquish him for breed testing, were not allowed to visit him before his death. Incidentally, when Lennox was taken from Caroline Barnes in 2009, it was because he looked like a Pit Bull, not because he showed any signs of aggression.

James Crosby, CBCC-KA, canine aggression expert, gave his assessment of the Lennox case. Included in the link is a video of Lennox being tested for aggression. Even when provoked, he still showed absolutely no signs of aggression, despite the fact that Belfast City Council dog warden said that Lennox was ‘the most dangerous and unpredictable dog’ she had ever encountered. Below the video (in the above link) is Crosby’s detailed professional analysis of Lennox’s response to the tester.

My heart goes out to Lennox’s family and every dog and person who has suffered because of ignorance and discrimination. I have a candle burning in memory of Lennox and envision a time in my life when BSL no longer exists.

What you can do:

  • A Care2 petition called Lennox’ Law aims to end BSL worldwide. 200,000 signatures are needed. Add yours here.
  • Become educated. The National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign is a nationwide effort to bring positive awareness and attention to the American Pit Bull Terrier.
  • Speak up. When you hear neighbors and friends speak negatively about any breed, gently provide educated statements to help them expand their thinking.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter. Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes are overcrowding shelters. Help in whatever way you can.
  • Add your comment below, expressing your opinion of what happened to Lennox.

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

148 comments

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8:08AM PDT on Aug 27, 2013

BSL killed my 6 month old puppy. BSL SUCKS!!!!!!

10:32AM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

I really hate all killers ! They all should meet their masters.
Thank you !

7:07AM PDT on Oct 27, 2012

this just is so wrong, an innocent friendly dog being put down because he LOOKS like a pitbull. So this should be true of humans as well.....if we don't look like a specified type the courts can have us killed????? Totally senseless and 100% murder....an eye for an eye, the people that voted to have this beautiful dog killed, will suffer greatly in time!!!!!!

12:10AM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

I am sorry to hear that because of pride, ignorance and stupidity by the Belfast City Council this beautiful and gentle dog is gone. Shame on those responsible for this. I have signed the petition and hopefully it will prove to be a success. We must never give up at what we believe in. Stay strong and on the course. I have shared story link with my social network. Hopefully this story will interest a few more souls.

12:09PM PDT on Sep 21, 2012

every pit ive ever come into contact with has been a big affectionate baby

4:44AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Kill first and ask questions later.

3:50AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

Have just read this. I send my love to Lennox's family, I am so sorry. There is something wrong with this picture though, why did the authorities not allow Lennox to be relocated? seemed like the perfect solution to me. Don't let his death be in vain, keep going people.

5:54PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

I have a rottweiler mix and I think the other mix is Bull Terrier as she looks so much like the dog in the picture here. But that does not make her aggressive. In all it depends on how the dog is raised. I don't think it was right for what they did and should've allowed the dog to go to the U.S. instead to be taken care of. Very sad story here.

9:32AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Heather G.
So if I test your DNA & find out you are at least part human, which is by far the deadliest creature on earth, then we can kill you? Or are you sayin you believe certain creatures should be wiped off the face of the earth for the convenience of humans? Humans are the invasive species and are the only ones who deserve to be eradicated from earth.

9:29AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Heather G.
So if I test your DNA & find out you are at least part human, which is by far the deadliest creature on earth, then we can kill you? Or are you sayin you believe certain creatures should be wiped off the face of the earth for the convenience of humans? Humans are the invasive species and are the only ones who deserve to be eradicated from earth.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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