Lennox, the dog seized and sentenced to death by the Belfast City Council and the high courts of Northern Ireland because of his breed, was euthanized yesterday.
Despite a two-year legal battle and a worldwide campaign that included protests and petitions, Lennox’s life was not spared.
Dog trainer and television personality Victoria Stilwell had taken a special interest in Lennox’s case, even offering to coordinate and fund any effort made to transport Lennox to a new home in the United States. According to a statement posted on the Lennox Campaign website, Stilwell was in Belfast early this week ready and waiting to take Lennox out of Ireland and to the U.S.
Even Northern Ireland’s Assembly First Minister, Peter Robinson, stepped in and voiced his support of Lennox. “Why exercise the Order if there’s an alternative?” he tweeted after urging the Belfast City Council to consider a re-homing option.
Sadly, all efforts to re-home and save poor Lennox were unsuccessful.
The Belfast City Council stated that, because he was a Pit Bull, Lennox was a threat to public safety. “The Council regrets that the court action was necessary but would emphasize that the safety of the public remains its key priority,” the Council said.
Owner Caroline Barnes, who fought a two-year legal battle in an attempt to save Lennox, is heartbroken. She tells the Belfast Telegraph that her family, including daughter Brooke, had been denied the chance to say goodbye to their beloved dog before he was destroyed.
“We had told Brooke that even if we didn’t win [the case], she can still see Lennox, have her last pictures with him and say goodbye,” Barnes explains. “To then have to tell her that no, that is not happening, it has been unfair.”
The Barnes family will not be allowed to claim Lennox’s body, but have been told that they will receive his ashes.