Pet Gift Hampers Reports: Death Row Dog Lennox is Destroyed

Death Row Dog Lennox is Destroyed

This week’s Pet Gift Hampers‘ blog is regarding this week’s unjust destruction of Lennox, the ‘pit-bull type’ dog declared as dangerous, by Belfast City Council. They confirmed on Wednesday 11 July, 2012 that Lennox had been humanely put to sleep. This is despite a lengthy battle by campaigners worldwide, to save the 7 year old family pet from destruction.

The Inside Story

Lennox was seized from his family home in 2010, by dog wardens working on behalf of Belfast City Council. They believed that Lennox was a ‘pitbull type’ and was therefore deemed a danger to the public under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (UK).

Worldwide protests ensued around the world,  in Lennox’s honour. The Save Lennox Facebook page has over 100,000 “likes” and a petition to save the dog has over 200,000 signatures.

Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer, and Victoria Stilwell, host of ‘It’s Me Or The Dog‘ , had offered to pay the expenses to relocate Lennox from Northern Ireland and bring him to a US sanctuary and ultimately his freedom.

However, these offers of relocation to a place where ownership of pit-bulls is allowed, were ignored. When the news broke that Lennox had been subjected to euthanasia, Victoria Stilwell demonstrated her anger and grief at the news by posting on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  She claimed that Belfast City Council (BCC) had failed to inform the disabled owner of Lennox of her dog’s destruction prior to the news being made public.  This was unacceptable but unsurprising, according to her, considering the insensitive nature in which BCC had conducted the themselves since Lennox had been seized. They had even denied the family the right to say goodbye to their dog, and would not even allow them to have his collar to remember him by after he had died. However, they had been informed that they would receive ‘some’ of his ashes in the post.

The Council Speaks Out

A statement from the council on Wednesday morning confirmed his death:

“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 Council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across,” the statement added.  According to Victoria Stilwell, this ‘expert’ had no qualifications in behavioural assessment of dogs and had only been employed to take measurements of the dog initially, to see if they matched the pit-bull breed standard.  In fact his ‘opinion’ that Lennox was dangerous was documented in a single paragraph,  unlike the pages and pages of reports submitted by 2 independent qualified behaviourists, which were largely ignored by the council. That Lennox’ fate was decided on the basis of his measurements is, in itself, laughable which is one of the reasons that Victoria Stilwell, amongst others are continuing their campaign to have the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (UK)  reviewed.  Additionally, Stilwell states, “the BCC’s ‘expert’ did try to sue me for speaking out against him and questioning his credentials, and yes he did expect money from me to settle the dispute. He was not successful because all I did was speak the truth. But these are the kind of people that the family,myself and all those who have supported Lennox, have been up against.”

In conclusion, we at Pet Gift Hampers believe that Lennox was treated unjustly and because of our passion for dogs and their welfare, we too hope that the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (UK) is redressed to prevent the destruction of more unfortunate dogs like Lennox.  Let’s hope Lennox’ death has not been in vain…….

Lennox the Dog

Pet Gift Hampers: Lennox the Dog Unjustly Loses His Life


The Dangers of Feeding Chocolate to Dogs

At Pet Gift Hampers, our canine confectionery range provides dog owners with a safe alternative to chocolate so that their dogs are not at risk from being poisoned by the toxins contained within chocolate.  It’s also important to note that chocolate is unsafe for cats and other animals too.

Why is chocolate toxic to dogs?

Chocolate is derived from the beans of the cacao tree, 2 of whose components come under the class of drugs known as methylxanines.  The methylxanines which exist  in chocolate are the naturally occurring stimulant theobromine and in smaller quantities, caffeine. The existence of these components  is the main reason why chocolate is poisonous to dogs, as dogs cannot digest it as readily as humans can.  This inability to digest the toxins in chocolate can lead to dogs being poisoned and can sometimes even be fatal.

The effects of these drugs on the dog’s body are as follows:

  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular stimulant (makes the heart work harder)
  • Over-stimulation of the Central Nervous System (can cause seizures)
  • Nausea and vomiting

Are some chocolates worse than others?

Strictly speaking, the higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the more toxic it will be to dogs. Therefore, chocolate high in cocoa solids such as cooking chocolate or dark chocolate will be more toxic than milk chocolate, but by no means does this mean that feeding milk chocolate to your dog is acceptable or safe. White chocolate does contain small amounts of theobromine but not in significant amounts, so the occurrence of poisoning is unlikely.

The effects of chocolate-eating in dogs

Some dog owners will defiantly say that chocolate has done their dog no harm. Perhaps this is what it seems like from the outside,  but the dog’s internal organs would disagree! For example if a young, active dog ate a teaspoonful of chocolate, this would probably not cause any obvious symptoms of toxicity but if he were to eat a large chocolate cake he would be very likely to show signs of poisoning such as vomiting and diarrhoea. So, the amount of chocolate your own dog can tolerate without displaying symptoms will depend on age, weight and fitness level but surely as it is so difficult to pin point the exact amount which can be deemed ‘safe’ for your dog, why would you take the risk?

Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs

Within the first few hours after consumption, your dog may display hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhoea.  As time passes and the dog’s body absorbs more of the toxins, the heart rate will increase,  the dog will show signs of restlessness, increased urination, heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and excessive panting. This can lead to muscle tremours, seizures, coma and even death.  Why would any responsible dog owner put their beloved pet at such risk?

Safe alternatives to chocolate

There are plenty of  readily available alternatives to chocolate which your dog will enjoy which are made from carob. Carob is derived from the carob bean and unlike chocolate contains no harmful toxins such as theobromine or caffeine. Examples of the types of tasty carob treats available can be seen in our Canine Confectionery  range.  Check out our paw print carob lollies, our mini carob pupcakes , boxes of gourmet dogolates and more, at Pet Gift Hampers.

Pet Gift Hampers enters the world of blogging

Pet Gift Hampers has finally entered the world of blogging to spread the word of our pet hamper gifts to pet owners and pet lovers in the UK! We started supplying pet owners with quality dog hamper gifts and cat … Continue reading