Death row dog Lennon has been granted a last minute reprieve – as a Belfast judge considers one final appeal to spare his life.
Owner Caroline Barnes and her disabled Brooke have been offered fresh hope in their battle to save Lennox from death.
The pitbull style dog was sentenced to be put down after he was seized by dog wardens in Belfast in May 2010.
The dog has been held at a pound ever since then as experts debate whether or not he is an American bulldog as Caroline claims.
Wardens claimed that Lennox is a banned pitbull-type dog who poses a danger to the public. They also alleged he attacked two people near the family home.
Belfast County Court judge Henry Rodgers agreed with the wardens last month and ordered that Lennox be put down.
A worldwide campaign has since been launched to save Lennox and owner Barnes has now lodged a final appeal to spare his life.
A spokeswoman for the Lord Chief Justice Office of Northern Ireland told the Belfast Telegraph that Ms Barnes’ legal team lodged papers on October 21, applying to the Court of Appeal.
The judge has 21 days to consider the latest appeal with a decision due on November 11th.
A Belfast City Council spokesman said: “A request has been made to the trial judge to state a case for the opinion of the Court of Appeal on a purported point of law.
“Lennox continues to be kennelled and cared for pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.”
The Belfast Telegraph reports that 119,318 people have now signed the Save Lennox petition for the attention of the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.
The paper also reports that one online supporter from the USA posted: “Please do the right thing and send this baby home to his girl. They both need each other. Wisconsin is praying for you Lennox.”
Another Lennox supporter said: “Save Lennox, a dog who has never committed an offence in his life may be ruthlessly put to sleep for a stupid reason. Please spare his life and return him to his happy family home.”
One furious dog lover added on the website www.savelennox.co.uk : “Farce, get it over with and send him home,” while a woman posted: “This wee man definitely deserves to be saved.”
Paula Boyden, veterinary director at Dogs Trust, told the paper that the issue of dangerous dogs and protecting the public has been one that has posed a problem for legislators in the UK for many years.
“The implementation of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has had a significant effect on the welfare of some dogs, which have either been kept in kennels for many years or euthanized simply because of their breed or type,” said Boyden.
“Further improvements are needed and the Dogs Trust has called for an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act to reflect the ‘deed not breed’ of a dog; to adequately deal with aggressive or dangerous dogs based on the actions of a dog rather than its breed.”
Here's a video released by the 'Save Lennox' campaign:
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