Editor’s Note: The name on the lips of outraged dog lovers everywhere this week is Lennox — the dog who was killed by the Belfast City Council in Northern Ireland yesterday for resembling a Pit Bull, when he was really a Labrador/Bulldog mix. Lennox was on death row for two years, and they didn’t even let his family see him before they put him down.
Here’s the full report from Dogster, as written by Michael Leaverton:
Lennox the dog is dead, murdered by the Belfast City Council [yesterday] morning.
Nobody could save him. Not the Save Lennox Campaign, not social media, not Twitter, not Facebook, not political pressure by Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson, not the efforts of celebrity dog lovers like Victoria Stilwell, not an online army, not physical protestors swarming Belfast and British and Irish Consulates in New York, not worldwide vigils, and not your thoughts and prayers.
It all failed. Nothing worked and everything was tried. Lennox was at the mercy of the Belfast City Council, and the council showed none. With breathtaking stupidity, the council decided that the Bulldog/Lab mix, who had hurt no one, was a “Pit Bull-type” dog and needed to be put down. Why?
In a statement released before the murder, the council cited “experts” who concluded the Bulldog/Lab mix was dangerous. This morning it released another:
“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,” said the statement.
Pit-Bull Terrier-type? We’re still talking about Lennox, right? The Bulldog/Lab mix?
It went on, shockingly: ”The council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”
Really, Belfast City Council? You sound like someone trying to save his ass, but careful, you might choke on that ridiculous hyperbole. And where’s your expert? Half of the animal behaviorists and experts in the world (with Victoria Stilwell leading the charge) were clamoring to visit Lennox, but you went with your guy. Trot him out. Let him talk.
And then, the statement falls off a cliff: “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.”
Explain to us, Belfast City Council, what a line about how you’ve been suffering is doing in your 150-word statement about how you’ve killed an innocent dog? Oh, right: Tit for tat. We get it. Carry on, killers.
Are you confused? Outraged? Angry? You should be. What’s to stop people like this from finding “experts” to say your dog is dangerous? Nothing. There is nothing to stop them. If you live in an area where Dangerous Dog legislation exists or is coming (now is when you start paying attention to that), there is nothing you can do, when people like the Belfast City Council have “experts” who think a non-violent Bulldog/Lab mix is not only a Pit Bull, but “one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.” It’s a travesty.
Next: See our roundup of the most heartbreaking messages left by Lennox supporters