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…….