Lennox has been put to sleep despite years of global pleas to the Belfast City Council and offers to relocate him to U.S. rescues
by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Save Lennox, Free Lennox Facebook page

After years of protests and pleas from around the world to the Belfast City Council asking that Lennox be saved, the seven-year-old dog has been euthanized.

There are a lot of broken hearts out there right now, especially those of Lennox’s family who have already been separated from Lennox for two years. He was confiscated in 2010 by the Belfast City Council and declared to be a dangerous dog because he was “unpredictable.” The Barnes family has maintained that Lennox has never proven to be dangerous.

Caroline Barnes’ efforts to overturn the order to euthanize Lennox were rejected. “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 City Council said in a statement according to the Huffington Post. The Council says their expert called Lennox “one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”

A Save Lennox Facebook campaign gained over 100,000 supporters and petitions were signed by people around the world. The Belfast City Council did not accept offers to pay for Lennox’s relocation to United States sanctuaries and rescues. Among those offering were Cesar Milan of “The Dog Whisperer” and Victoria Stillwell of “It’s Me or the Dog.” Pets Alive offered to take Lennox in at their sanctuary. Rob Thomas, a big Pets Alive supporter expressed his sadness on Twitter when he heard the news of Lennox’s death, calling it “heartbreaking and shameful.”

The family was even denied a chance to see Lennox before he was euthanized. “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,” Barnes said. Their statement was posted to the Save Lennox Facebook page.

Breed Specific Legislation continues to label pit bulls and “pit bull type” dogs dangerous and illegal, including in states in the U.S. Individual dogs face the same fate as Lennox because their entire breed has been determined to be a threat.


About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Brunny

    Dearest BCC, if I want a pet, I have to have an approved breed, if you desire to kill it then I have no right to complain and democratic complaints from thousands of people will hv no impact, I cant say goodbye to my pet and love it before you kill it, nor can I collect its body and bury it in a place I feel it would have been happy to be laid to rest in.
    Tell me, is the flavour and brand of pet food I choose on your approved list of activities of what a citizen can do with their pet in Northern Ireland?

  • http://twitter.com/brunsonburner Sophie Brunson

    Totally agree. I’ve sent them a number of emails asking them how they have interpreted the dangerous dog legislation as it seems they have taken a very one sided view of it.

  • stevo

    Ignorant morons,backward and narrow minded people,pitbulls are one of the most misunderstood dogs out there.I found one on the street once and took it home,thankfully i managed to reunite the dog with her owner,,it was a very sweet dog,i had to separate it from my Labrador because it was the lab that was the aggressive one.Shame on them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachelbriantjournalist Rachel Briant


  • lunarfaye

    Scary, ain’t it?
    If pitbulls are a dangerous breed and deserve to be euthanized, then the entire human race is at risk of getting wiped out, because there are convicted murderers, terrorists, rapists, pedophiles, psychopaths, and morons.