U.K. High Court Votes to Kill Family Dog
Two years ago, animal control officials in Northern Ireland, seized a family pet from the home of Caroline Barnes, a former veterinary nurse whose 11-year-old daughter was registered as a disabled person.
Lennox is part Labrador, part American bulldog and part Staffordshire terrier. The officers told Nurse Barnes that the dog looked like an American pit bull terrier, and was therefore banned. She told them that Lennox was neutered, micro-chipped, insured and DNA registered and had never had a complaint made against him.
They took Lennox anyway. He’s been locked up ever since.
Yesterday, two years later, after a court case, numerous pleas, much publicity in the British press, and an appeal, the Belfast High Court ruled against Lennox being given a final, last-ditch appeal, and condemned him to death.
The outcry over Lennox has been worldwide. More than 128,000 people signed petitions to save him, dozens of dog experts spoke up on his behalf, two expert behaviorists evaluated him, and a home was all ready to adopt him in the Republic of Ireland, which has no such breed-discriminatory laws.
So there was no possible danger to anyone living in Northern Ireland. Lennox could have been driven across the border, just as has been done with other dogs.
Lennox was the beloved pet of Nurse Barnes’s daughter, Brooke Winters. Two years ago, she told the Daily Mirror, “He’s my best friend. When I’m sick, which is a lot of the time, he lies at my feet and comforts me. I play with his ears and he keeps an eye on me. My other dogs just go out an play, but Lennox stays with me and I love him.”
Soon after Lennox was taken away, Brooke started hurting herself, cutting the skin on her legs with her fingernails. “I don’t know why, but it makes me feel better for a wee while. I try not to hurt myself and I know mummy wants me to stop, but I do it when I’m on my own and worrying about Lennox.”
Lennox is still being held at a secret location to avoid demonstrations on his behalf. When the Daily Mirror was given brief access to see him, the paper reported that he was living in total isolation and didn’t even have any toys, daylight or exercise.
Requests for interviews with Belfast city officials have been receiving this boilerplate response:
The council believes that today’s ruling is the right decision and that it again vindicates the actions of our staff who, while simply carrying out the legal requirements of their job, have had to endure a relentless campaign of intimidation and abuse. END.
Barring a last-minute miracle, Lennox will be executed in a few days.
Posted June 13, 2012, by Michael Mountain
LENNOX HAS BEEN MURDERED. I have been supporting and trying to Save Lennox for 18months or more now. I live in Australia so news of this murder has travelled far and wide. The Belfast City Council will not get away with this. Let us hope that this is a catalyst for changes in a clearly dysfunctional legislation.
This is devastating news. The Belfast city officials who condone such inhumane and unjust treatment of animals need to realize that the pain and suffering they have caused will return to them. What goes around comes around. It's called karma and we are all subject to it. To paraphrase Gandhi: You can tell how evolved a civilization is by the way it treats its animals. Guess the law makers and city officials aren't very evolved. They should be more concerned with doing the right and humane thing and less concerned with their power hungry egos.
This is a shocking case of inhumanity. Belfast is certainly no place I will ever care to visit because of this. It's truly hard to believe that they have allowed both the dog and the family to suffer for so long. The outcome should not be acceptable to anyone who has even a tiny bit of compassion. I can see no justification for their actions except that the people in power must be sadists.
The conditions in which Lennox is forced to live clearly constitutes animal cruelty. Is Belfast even in a Christian country? To paraphrase Gandhi, a nation can be judged by how it treats its weakest members; in this case, its animals. For shame, Northern Ireland.
Dear Lennox, You were born innocent and still are. You are a beautiful loving creature that has touched the world. Yet you were imprisoned as a political prisoner by some who are morally corrupt and not willing to respect life but project their own misguided visions to make totally wrong and unjust stupid decisions. How I wish they would see the light and realize it is their own shortcomings that add so much pain to this world, your family and you - having to suffer in a cell for years ! It is beyond words - there are thousands of people who love you as they value all creatures and respect life. I wish you would know that thru out your hellish suffering we fought for you, loved you and stood by you despite the evil mindsets surrounding you. You will never know that. The rigid human oblivion dooming over you will have consequences I am sure. If they truly cared as humans should, they would let you move to another place to live your life, as you HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO LIVE YOUR LIFE - I am so sorry you were born over there where people have no feelings and live in the dark ages. So sorry.
If liability was their true concern, they would cooperate and let the dog emigrate out of their country.
Abuse of power is a terrible thing - and the suffering that was caused to this family and the animal in his isolation is beyond words - how cruel Ireland behaves - what a national disgrace.
The rigid indifference by egotistic power trip hungry minds calls for a revolt. This is beyond the dark ages. Is Belfast going back to the Middle Ages ? This is not about carrying out a job - it's solely to carry out an agend and ignoring all common sense and ethical fairness ! YOU ARE NOT GOD PEOPLE - this is a totally unjust tragedy - I am calling for worldwide boycott on this town ! Your city council is not willing to get educated and to refuse to let this innocent animal go live somewhere else, out of your archaic country - is a crime in itself ! You will get God's wrath - I hope sooner than later. How terribly wrong you are to do this - simply to prove you can, because you want to. May people in Ireland wake up to this injustice and refuse to take the bile you shove down their throats !
Breed discrimination or discrimination because of assumed breed is racial profiling and discrimination! Lennox did nothing wrong except been seen by an over zealous dog warden. He was imprisoned under cruel, unsanitary conditions what the worst criminal would not have received. Lennox should be returned to is family or allowed to leave the racist, fascist country.
Best chance is probably for Lennox to be allowed to emigrate to the Irish Republic, where a home is waiting for him.
You are correct I just hold out hope that Lennox gets to live a long and happy life and know that his humans will be happy with that, as I will. Thanks for all that you do to make this a better world in which all of us live.