Battle for death row dog nears end
The battle to save Lennox, a Belfast pit bull terrier-type dog at the centre of a two-year legal controversy, comes to an end today.
The dog was deemed dangerous by Northern Ireland’s most senior judges in the Court of Appeal last month, after being seized from his home in 2010 as a breed banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act. Two lower courts previously ruled that the seven-year-old dog posed a danger to the public.
The Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997 in England and Wales was extended to Northern Ireland last year. The legislation introduced a discretionary element to automatic destruction for pit bull-type dogs, based on whether the animal is deemed a danger to the public.
The 28-day reprieve after the last court date runs out this evening, and Lennox is due to be destroyed this week, if not today.
A council spokesperson said the destruction order “is an order of the court, which was affirmed on appeal. The council is under a duty to comply with the order.”
The Save Lennox campaign had gained international attention, with protests taking place in New York yesterday following a march on Belfast City Hall last Saturday. The online petition had more than 188,000 signatures and a large following on Facebook and Twitter.