Worldwide campaign to save Lennox fails as dog put down

Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 01:00

LENNOX, A pit bull terrier-type dog, was put down by Belfast City Council yesterday despite several pleas that he be granted a last-minute reprieve.

The seven-year-old dog, owned by Caroline Barnes from the Shankill area of west Belfast, was put down after a two-year “Save Lennox” campaign which attracted almost 190,000 supporters worldwide.

Ms Barnes fought three court cases since Lennox was impounded in May 2010, but a final hearing before the Court of Appeal last month led to confirmation that he should be destroyed.

The court gave Lennox 28 days before he would be put down but that deadline passed at midnight, Tuesday, and yesterday morning, according to Belfast City Council, he was “humanely put to sleep”.

“The council regrets that the court action was necessary, but would emphasise that the safety of the public remains its key priority,” said a council statement.

The council said it had no option but to obey the ruling of the court. Lennox was deemed dangerous as a breed banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act.

“Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this 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,” it added.

“The council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”

But Ms Barnes said other dog behaviourists told the court Lennox was not a threat. “Lennox never attacked anyone, no one ever made a complaint against Lennox, Belfast City Council simply wanted to put him down because of how he looks,” she said.