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.