Family admit defeat in Lennox dog row

Published Tuesday, 03 July 2012
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The owners of a dog ruled by the highest courts in Northern Ireland to be a dangerous pitbull-type breed have admitted defeat in their battle to save Lennox from destruction.

Family admit defeat in Lennox dog row
Lennox was seized by dog wardens two years ago. (© Pacemaker)

The long-running saga has been drawn out over the two years since the dog was seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens and has grabbed the attention of animal lovers around the world.

Celebrity experts like Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell have also shown their support for the campaign.

But the family have now said in a statement: "There is nothing more that we can do from a legal point of view and Lennox may well be killed.

"We have one last hope that Belfast City Council will allow Lennox to be re-homed in the USA. The offer is there, but we have no say in whether this offer will be accepted."

We are obviously distraught, but have to consider the impact that any future lengthy legal battle would have on Len.

Lennox's family

While Lennox's owner Caroline Barnes went from court to court in a bid to stop her pet being put down, the family now say they don't want to prolong the dog's suffering any longer and admit they can't win the fight to save him.

"It has been almost impossible for us to accept that we have to admit defeat. We always believed that there was some hope and that justice would prevail. We were wrong," the statement added.

The family say they will undertake one last fight though - for the right to say goodbye before Lennox is put down.

"We cannot bear the thought that Lennox will die without being reminded of the hearts and hands that love him."

Last month, senior judges sitting in the Court of Appeal backed the verdict of a County Court judge who had made an earlier ruling that Lennox could not be made safe.

Lord Justice Paul Girvan, sitting with Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan and Lord Justice Malachy Higgins, set out how dog wardens trying to examine Lennox in May 2010 had been told that the dog would "rip their head off".

While an expert dog handler retained by Mrs Barnes described Lennox as a well-handled family dog, an expert for the City Council concluded that the animal had a severe personality defect.

Lennox's family have since been advised by their legal team that there are no grounds for any further appeal.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
luzia in Brasil wrote (942 days ago):
!Please do not be arrogant, always wanted to know Ireland is a beautiful country and will be marked around the world with this immense cruelty: kill Lennox Save Lennox
Tatiane Freitas in Brasil wrote (942 days ago):
And the undersigned? What can we do?
Sick of Belfast City Council getting it wrong! in Belfast wrote (942 days ago):
This is about an arrogant system that cannot admit they got it wrong. Some questions for those who think this legal decision was justified: 1. Was the dog lifted in place of another pit bull type dog? 2. I would like to know who owned the other dog? 3. How did dog control get the wrong address? 4. No Satnav in their cars? 5. Was that order served? 6. Was the dog portrayed as dangerous when a dog warden was photographed cuddling the dog with its face beside hers. Something you would not do unless sure a dog was safe in that situation? 7. Is this a case of an over zealous police state stamping its authority on an innocent family? Here is the rub, this happened to a family, not just a dog. So children in this family watched Dog Control and police barge into their house, remove their pet. Then call said pet dangerous and apply for a destruction order while posting happy shots on their blog holding the dog near their face. What does that say about justice in our country? What does it say to the wider world about fairness and equality under the law in Northern Ireland? We now live in a society with two streams, an elite connected to politicos and the rest of us who outnumber that special chosen few. It is time they wind their collective necks in a bit. Start making laws that benefit ordinary people as opposed to their special interest funders. No normal citizen was made safer by this stupid, short-sighted, clumsy use of the law. In fact buy in to the whole Assembly project will have been reduced considerably by this both at home and abroad. Way to go guys, only one per cent happy with the Assembly, why not aim for no per cent?
marlene weale in wales wrote (942 days ago):
This is blatant injustice of the type shown to negroes and jews and irish people in the days that London landlords could write 'NO BLACKS, NO IRISH on a notice they displayed in their windows. I am old enough to remember questioning such prejudices and being given reasons similar to those expressed above by Messrs Lurgan and Kearney, ie: 'they' MIGHT do something untoward because they cannot be trusted. And yes, in speaking up for these minority races, I was called a nutcase and any taxpayers' money spend on helping these people was quoted as being wasted. Things don't change, do they? Nor do people from the tone of some of the derogatory remarks about this case.
Bronagh in Belfast wrote (942 days ago):
So sad to learn that the fight has nearly come to an end, I can't imagine how Lennox's family are feeling. It was a fight worth pursuing but unfortunately it would appear that Lennox will be made an example off by BCC and the legal system - just a pity more efforts werent put into protecting animal welfare! Fingers crossed that he can be re-homed in the US.
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