Lennox is dead. The black “pit bull type” canine became an internet sensation as authorities in Belfast prepared to execute him under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1992, which outlaws such animals. Lennox was euthanized early Wednesday July 11th 2012 despite worldwide appeals from celebrities, including Americans who offered to find a new home for him in the U.S. The Barnes family were not allowed to visit Lennox before his death, or to be present for it; they learned first from a radio interviewer that the council order had been carried out. They haven’t been given their pet’s body, either; they have instead been told by city council that his ashes will be mailed to them.
The council has handled the whole affair very poorly.
The mistrust that the BCC has accumulated will be long lasting.
Lennox was born long after the laws against pit bulls were passed, and was the subject of three legal appeals, including one by the Court of Appeal for Northern Ireland, the UK exclave’s highest. More than two full years lapsed between the seizure of Lennox and his death.
The longstanding questions about the subjectivity and humanity of legislation banning particular breeds of dog are being renewed by Lennox’s case. Lennox was judged to be a pit bull after a brief physical inspection with a tape measure. A DNA test apparently indicated that Lennox is a mix of American bulldog and Labrador retriever, but the standard under the law is physical confirmation, not genetics. Lennox’s owner, Caroline Barnes, had complied with all of the city’s licensing and health laws.
There were never any complaints from neighbours about Lennox, and there is no evidence to suggest he ever bit anyone.
RIP dear Lennox ...we will fight on in your name to end the horror which is BSL.