The Northern Irish owners of a dog who have been fighting to save him from being destroyed have admitted defeat after a two-year-long battle.
Lennox the dog, the Barnes family pet deemed by the law to be a pitbull dog is to be put down after a Belfast Court of Appeal rejected the latest legal bid to save his life last month.
Lennox has been detained at a secret location by Belfast dog wardens for the past two years.
His owner Caroline Barnes took the case to the Court of Appeal, arguing that family pet had never harmed anyone. However, three senior judges ruled that Lennox should be put down.
In May 2010 the dog was seized by a Belfast City Council dog warden. It was ruled that Lennox was a danger to the public and should be put down. The lengthy court battle has made headlines around the world with more than 170,000 people signing a petition for Lennox to be returned to his owners.
The latest family statement posted on the Save Lennox Facebook page, says the family can no longer engage in a “battle we simply cannot win”.
The family said they have met with lawyers to “explore all possible options before we issued another statement”.
“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,” they said. “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.”
The statement has attracted over 2,000 comments since it was posted on Monday evening. Lennox is to be destroyed by the Belfast City Council.
Here's a video from the "Save Lennox" campaign: