In May 2010 Lennox was seized from his family home and locked away at a secret location, remaining imprisoned to this day. The dog warden working for Belfast City Council seized Lennox believing him to be a ‘pit bull type’ dog, and therefore breeched the dangerous dogs act. A decision the family says was formed by Belfast City Councils dog warden, after measuring Lennox’s muzzle and hind legs with a dressmaker’s tape, a process stated by many as fatally flawed. Belfast City Council’s decision was not only heart breaking for the Barnes family, but also a great shock. After applying for and receiving a dog licence from Belfast City Council every year since Lennox was a puppy, who would then expect the Belfast City Council to suddenly class Lennox as a pit bull type dog.
Lennox, an American Bull dog cross Labrador was 5 years old when he was seized by Belfast City Council and the owners have admirably campaigned for over two years now, to Save Lennox from the death sentence. Lennox is a well loved member of the Barnes family, particularly to their disabled daughter, whom Lennox brought great comfort to. It is hard to imagine the heartache and stress this family must be going through, especially as Lennox is such a good natured dog and hasn’t harmed anyone.
The case has gained worldwide support, including well known names such as Victoria Stilwell who hosts ‘It’s me or the dog’ and Cesar Millan of the television series ‘The Dog Whisperer’. Victoria Stilwell even went as far as submitting her own report to the Northern Ireland courts; as an expert dog behaviourist Victoria stated that “Lennox posed no danger to the public, and that he clearly demonstrates amazing self control even while put under stressful circumstances”.
With a petition of over 170,000 signatures, expert reports from canine behaviourists, and such huge worldwide support, it is a puzzle to understand why Lennox is still a prisoner confined within a kennel, starved of love and attention, more than two years after his seizure by Belfast City Council. The Save Lennox campaign have fort long and hard, and many have believed that as Lennox is innocent justice will prevail, but unfortunately this has not been the case. In a recent statement from the Save Lennox campaign it states in part that:
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 manoeuver.
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.
You can read the full statement at savelennox.co.uk.
Lennox’s last hope rests with Belfast City Council allowing Lennox to be taken to America. Supporters have offered to cover all costs and re-home Lennox with another loving family, and enable him to live out his life. I know I speak for many when I ask Belfast City Council to please accept this offer and Save Lennox’s life.
These are the official Save Lennox Campaign links, as well as an update from Victoria Stilwell kindly offering her help: