Northern Ireland’s most senior judges have made the decision to destroy Lennox, despite the worldwide campaign to try and save the dog.
The dog’s owner, Caroline Barnes, lost her legal battle to have the decision overturned on Tuesday afternoon in Belfast. In May 2010 the dog was seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens. It was ruled that Lennox was a danger to the public and should be put down.
Although Barnes now accepts that Lennox is a pit bull-type dog she claims that there has been a failure to consider the dog’s exemption from the scheme, according to BBC reports. Barnes argued with the court that Lennox had never bitten anyone or misbehaved since being impounded. She says her dog was never given a chance.
On Tuesday her legal team went before the Court of Appeal and three judges (Lord Justice Girvan, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan and Lord Justice Higgins). However the judges confirmed that Lennox would be put down.
Lord Justice Girvan pointed to the Dangerous Dogs Act, which was extended to Northern Ireland in 2011. He spoke about the report from the dog wardens who attempted to examine and measure the dog in 2010. They were told the dog would “rip their head off”.
An expert dog handler, retained by the City Council, said Lennox had a severe personality defect, including having a problem with strangers. They added it would be impossible to tell what the dog might do under stress, according to Ulster Television (UTV) reports.
The court’s statement read “The judge had heard evidence on the issues relating to this dog over a protracted two-day hearing, carefully considered the evidence and the issues and he reached conclusions of fact which have not been vitiated by any error of law on his part.”
Lennox was five-years-old when he was taken from the Barne’s family. He had lived with the family and being a companion to their disabled child Brooke.
He will now be destroyed by the Belfast City Council. No date for his destruction has been released.
TheExaminer.com reports that the Barne’s family have now been denied a final request to see their dog before he is killed.
The Save Lennox campaign who are continuing to petition for the dog’s freedom have said the Barne’s family will release an a statement on the matter.
Here's a video from the "Save Lennox" campaign: