On May 19th,2010, Lennox, an American Pit Bull Lab Cross was seized by dog wardens(animal control) in Belfast, U.K. He was seized because his breed supposedly presents a threat or danger to society. Now, Lennox was neutered, licensed, insured, DNA registered, Pet Safe registered and micro chipped and the Belfast City Council had issued a dog licence for Lennox for the last five years and continued to do so! But now Council now finds the need to class him as a Pit Bull type dog and euthanize him. Since the day he was taken, Lennox’s family has not been told of his whereabouts, they have not been able to visit him, and they have not been shown the kind of environment he was being housed in—until recently. This photo emerged which shows Lennox being housed in a cold, concrete prison looking completely miserable.
For two years this family has been fighting an uphill battle and more information on their story can be found at: http://www.savelennox.co.uk/ . Veterinarians, canine behaviorists, etc were all called upon to judge whether Lennox was a threat due to his breed and they all agreed that NO, he was not a threat and that breed says nothing towards the aggressiveness of a dog, but still the courts would not listen. The amount of support this family has gotten from people all over the entire world has been immense and they recently submitted this statement:
“We apologise for the silence as we know our many friends and supporters around the world have been desperate for news but until we had further talks with our legal team we had nothing new to share. We needed to explore all possible options before we issued another statement as we did not wish to give those that have campaigned so tirelessly any false hope or for anything to be taken out of context as has happened in the past.
Whilst there may well be errors in the Judge’s ruling from a point of law this has little bearing on whether we can or should progress by taking the case to a higher court. The ruling is based on the Judge’s decision that he deems Lennox to be unsafe despite evidence given by those qualified to assess and understand dog behaviour that contradicts the testimony of the Prosecution that was presented in court. This has given us little room for manoeuvre.
Our concern and priority has always been the welfare of our beloved boy. We have fought to have Len returned to our family from the moment he was seized but we have been advised that the legal fight is at an end. We are obviously distraught but have to consider the impact that any future lengthy legal battle would have on Len if we chose to go against the advice that we have been given. We cannot subject him to any more as there are no grounds for a further appeal and we do not wish to prolong his suffering any longer by engaging in a battle that we simply cannot win.
We have attempted to write this statement many, many times but have struggled to put in writing that the fight to spare Lennox’s life may well be over. 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. There have been many dark days for us since Len was taken and we want you all to know that it is your support and kindness that kept us going through the blackest times.
This is all we can share with you at the moment and we are finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing more that we can do from a legal point of view and that Lennox may well be killed. We have one last hope that Belfast City Council will allow Lennox to be rehomed in the USA. The offer is there but we have no say in whether this offer will be accepted. We have never refused to rehome Lennox. That decision was taken out of our hands from the moment Len took his final walk with us from our house to the Dog Wardens van.
If the offer is turned down we will fight for our right to say goodbye. We cannot bear the thought that Lennox will die without being reminded of the hearts and hands that love him.
Is this truly the end of a fight that has seemed to take a lifetime? I’m not a religious person but I think it’s time to pray that Lennox can be taken to the USA. I completely agree with the family’s decision to not prolong Lennox’s time in his prison, as hard and as difficult as it is, it’s simply not fair to keep him waiting for death, as right now he has no life anyways. Currently in Canada, there are many, many cities that still have BSL (breed specific legislation) in their animal control bylaws. Politicians who control our laws need to know that we NO LONGER will stand for these injustices. We need to write to our local government and tell then why BSL is a form of racism and will not be tolerated anymore. Merchandise can be purchased through many different avenues to support Pit Bulls looking for their homes. Wearing anti-BSL gear will inform the public that you WILL NOT put up with this any longer. You can purchase this t-shirt from HugABull(all proceeds go to helping Pit Bulls in need):
Only WE can demand change, it won’t happen by signing online petitions, or following a news story. Take the 5 minutes to write to your government, otherwise you’re just as bad as the people who took Lennox away from his family. I am not an owner of a Pit Bull, but BSL can happen to ANY breed. It won’t always affect just the Pit Bull breed, it could be the Jack Russell next or the Labrador. I know two things: BSL is WRONG, and my heart is so, so broken for this poor family and for poor Lennox. We talk about things not being fair–bad hair days, or Tim Hortens being out of our favourite soup, well THIS is the true meaning of something not being fair and LENNOX deserves better. We need to fight for what we believe is right so that the fight his family has endured to try and save him isn’t for nothing, and should he be euthanized we need to keep him strong in our memories and keep going. No other family or dog should have to endure this ever again. I’ll close with one thought: What if it were YOUR dog in Lennox’s place?