Save Lennox

Later today in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the Barnes family will find out if their beloved dog, Lennox, an American Bull Dog/Labrador mix, must be put to sleep. Half a day has been set aside for judges to hear the arguments following two years of dispute. Lennox was seized in May 2010 under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, not as a consequence of his bad behaviour, merely because of the way he looks. He has been condemned to die because of a ludicrous piece of legislation which puts the emphasis on a dog’s physical measurements, rendering him a banned “pit bull-type”.

The poor boy has spent two years in captivity awaiting a death sentence, held in a secret location in a concrete cell with sawdust for bedding, far from those that love him. That’s just wrong. I cannot think for too long about the despair I would feel were one of my dogs similarly incarcerated: worrying if he was too cold, stressed and afraid; wondering whether he was being fed and exercised enough; hoping that he had some toys or friendly company to stimulate his mind and could forgive me for supposedly abandoning him.

Lennox has been wrongfully seized and locked up inhumanely, in my view. He has been deprived of his freedom, isolated, has limited exercise and interaction outside his kennel, has been medicated with Amitriptyline, a strong anti-depressant. How his welfare needs can be met surrounded by his own faeces I fail to comprehend. The sawdust on which he sleeps has aggravated a skin complaint resulting in considerable loss of hair and sores, and he appears overweight in recent photographs. In my book, this is nothing short of cruelty – Defra’s, too.

Before this Lennox had always known a kind, responsible family unit, receiving love and routine. Mum was a former veterinary nurse who fostered dogs for various shelters. His best friends were a young girl who doted on him and two companions, a Boxer and a Yorkshire Terrier. He never left his property unless muzzled, stayed on a lead at all times – as per the Act’s stipulations – and his garden was suitably secure. Nobody ever had cause to complain about his behaviour. Lennox had been microchipped, neutered, DNA registered, was insured, even had a valid dog licence (issued for five years previous by the same people that now seek to destroy him). That didn’t stop three dog wardens arriving, unannounced, at the family home in May 2010 with a defective warrant (wrong name, wrong address) and dressmaker’s tape with which they measured Lennox and decided that he should be seized there and then.

The case against Lennox has been controversial to put it mildly. There have been myriad inconsistencies, as well as accusations of fake Facebook accounts, intimidation tactics and the small matter of perjury. All three wardens, it is claimed, lied under oath, one falsely claiming that she was frightened of Lennox and could not handle him, despite photographs showing her playing with him happily, even allowing him to lick her face.

Lennox is scheduled to be euthanised unless the verdict is overturned today, and he’s done absolutely nothing wrong. That breaks my heart, as someone who loves animals, but also as someone with a modicum of common sense and compassion which others are evidently lacking.

The judge, for one, in reaching his verdict has chosen to rely on people who are, it is argued convincingly, not qualified to correctly assess Lennox. In September 2011, two expert animal behaviourists presented their assessments of Lennox to the court; both had reached the conclusion that Lennox is of no danger to the public, yet the judge chose to disregard the opinions of a dog trainer and expert in canine aggression, instead opting to rely on the view of a former police dog handler.

Now, some time spent as a police dog handler does not make anyone an expert on a breed of dog that the police rarely work with, I wouldn’t have thought, yet he was permitted by the judge to act as one. If we’re all allowed to be bigoted and make sweeping generalisations about this, allow me to throw in some completely unrelated sensationalist newspaper headlines about police and their dogs at this point:

Two police dogs bake to death in back of handler’s car
North Wales police dog beaters keep jobs
Police dogs death leads to RSPCA ban

All things considered, though, I choose not to place much value in the word of someone who has stated on record that he thinks it acceptable to use violence as a means of controlling a dog, even if the judge seems eager to. I say that anyone demonstrating such outmoded levels of brutality dressed up as discipline deserves to get bitten or at least feel as though he might. How else is a dog supposed to defend itself?

I am so disappointed at the prejudice and discrimination of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Ignorant people forget, if indeed they ever knew, that a dog’s character is predominantly a result of its socialisation, training and upbringing, not its breed characteristics – this is a proven fact. A dog’s breed is not a factor in determining whether or not it is dangerous; scientifically, there is no evidence of any relationship between aggression and breed. Although it is true that this “type” was bred originally to bait bulls and bears (banned in 1835), and because of a powerful physique, strong prey drive and high energy levels they were considered ideal candidates for the new craze of dog-fighting and thus bred to maximise aggression, Staffordshire Bull Terriers were considered ‘nanny dogs’, so trusted were they around children. Sergeant Stubby, a Bull Terrier, was mascot of the 102nd Infantry of the 26th “Yankee” Division and the most decorated dog of World War I, receiving many medals in recognition of his heroism.

Of course, you rarely find a positive story about any dog in the press, unless it’s a dancing one.

Bull Terriers have sadly developed a reputation because, through no fault of their own, they have become the weapon of choice for the lowlifes lurking on street corners, who have been trained to growl and strain at their leads in a demonstration of their aggression in order to serve as a macho status symbol for pathetic young men everywhere.

Lennox was a loving and loved family pet.

What infuriates me is that, if Belfast City Council and all the others are so concerned for the safety of the public, why not do more about the irresponsible owners who encourage their dogs’ aggressive behaviour and raise them to be anti-social instead of victimising the easy targets? The problem of dangerous dogs, along with the battery farming of pups and the inconsiderate breeding practices of pedigree dogs, is an entirely man-made problem. The real issue here ought to be how to prevent selfish, callous people from breeding, owning and abusing dogs, not how to remove a family pet and cause untold sadness to all involved.

BSL is as preposterous a notion as arresting people with shaved heads, unusual piercings and provocative tattoos because they might just start a fight outside a bar some time in the future.

However, at the height of a public outcry over a spate of dog attacks on children, the Tories, as they are so fond of doing, managed to marginalise a section of society upon whom the blame for the problem of “devil dogs” could be laid – with the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. A hastily produced piece of legislation (later enacted in Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Portugal, Singapore and many states throughout the USA, among other places), the concept being simply that dogs of a particular breed or “type” are inherently dangerous and should be controlled, if not banned outright. The government’s original genocidal plot to eliminate all dogs fitting this loose description of a “type” was thankfully opposed. Instead, it was decided that these dogs must not be bred from or exchanged so that eventually the feared breeds would die out.

The Act reversed the burden of proof so the dog is presumed guilty until proven innocent, yet how can you argue against tape measurements? In the absence of a DNA test which confirms whether the dog is considered a pit bull-type, the dog is judged purely on its physical attributes. One litter mate may well be acceptable, another not, hence one will live and one will die. It has been ruled that the behaviour of a dog is relevant, but not conclusive, when establishing whether or not a dog meets the all-important criteria.

So instead of addressing the matter of why Kiel Simpson received a prison sentence of just eight weeks (of which, naturally, he served four) in 2007 for owning the dog that killed Ellie Lawrensen (his five-year-old niece, usually a family member’s dog is responsible for fatal attacks on children in their home – and private property is not covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act – after his sister had required hospital treatment following a previous unprovoked attack by the same dog in the same house), now more than twenty years on from the introduction of this illogical piece of legislation innocent parts-of-the-family such as Lennox are still potentially paying with their lives after what must be a most cruel and prolonged torture for the way they look, even though their behaviour does not normally correspond with the behaviour of a dog that happens to look a bit like them.

Another sobering thought: the Liberal Democrats, back when people actually liked them (2007, seems so long ago now), were proposing adding Rottweilers to the banned list. Which will be next? German Shepherds are responsible for most bites, apparently. Jack Russells are known ankle-biters. Poodles, especially the small ones with large bows on their heads, have always seemed a bit edgy to me…

As Joan K. Smith writes in the Huffington Post, poor Lennox is “a victim of misused policy and a few humans who would rather see him put to death than admit a mistake.” I do believe that there are lots of extremely petty jobsworths out there who would rather keep peddling a lie than ever admit they got it wrong, just as others will dutifully say whatever they’re required to say because there’s a big fat wad of notes in it for them with the promise of more to come. Sad, but true.

I hope we’ll speak of Lennox in years to come as another Dempsey, the Pit Bull Terrier who was also seized and held for three years before her release. She went on to live a long, happy life. I hope Lennox will be released soon, free to return to his family, and that his legacy will be the abolition of BSL which has only served to murder dogs on a mass scale, not reduce attacks or limit irresponsible ownership. In the years following the Dangerous Dogs Act, the rate of incidents involving dogs has not decreased: earlier this year, the Telegraph reported that dog attack hospital admissions rose for the fifth consecutive year, in fact.

Mahatma Ghandi can have the final word: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

100 thoughts on “Save Lennox”

  1. Wow, unbelievable that an animal of any kind (not to mention a part of a family) could be killed for the way it looks. Maybe someone should treat that judge the way that Lennox is being treated: remove him from his family and put him in a jail where his health is allowed to deteriorate, then threaten him with death. Maybe then the judge will understand and do the right thing for this poor dog.

  2. Very well said. Nothing needs to be added except my wholehearted agreement and my sincere hope this poor dog is set free. I, for one, hate to even think how the ‘greatness of our nation’ is being judged by the way Lennox has been treated so far.

  3. Fed, I’m sure it’s an oversight but it’s no matter: an appeal to all regulars and irregulars to send a petition applicable to your geography! These campaigns DO work.

    Thank you for calling this animal cruelty to our attention, Fed.

    1. Thanks for the link Sharon. I have signed the petition.

      Lennox is absolutely innocent. Shame on those men.

  4. I think that this passionate and so well articulated speech in defence of dogs could be easily extended to human beings, I’m sorry to say that to my mind, it’s even worse. It’s what is called ‘racism’, ‘segregation’, when people are judged – for example when they sometimes get arrested by cops (identity verification) while driving or protesting in the streets – by the look of their face, the colour of their skin, the clothes they wear, etc. They may even get thrown in jail, like poor Lennox. It’s what we call here ‘délit de sale gueule’ ou ‘délit de faciès’ (can’t translate, sorry, maybe “Driving while black” is what is said in the US?). These are the ideas of extreme right movements that are proliferating these days in Europe and I find this very dangerous and disturbing.

    Now, about the fact that “dog attack hospital admissions rose for the fifth consecutive year”, what can we do? Jail sentences for owners of dangerous, out of control dogs? But what about prevention? Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir, non? I don’t think that this ‘Dangerous Dogs Act 1991’ is a bad idea. I prefer to see a ‘dangerous’ dog wearing a muzzle than a little child, victim of a dog attack, severely disfigured by a bite.

    1. Of course, each of your examples is a sickening outrage that troubles me greatly, but I believe that animals have no voice so people should speak out for them from time to time. We domesticated them and continue to breed them to meet our requirements, therefore we should take full responsibility for the problems we have created.

      Dangerous, out of control dogs do need to be dealt with and, sadly, that usually means by way of lethal injection (to euthanise the dogs, not the feckless owners, that’s also rather unfortunate), but Lennox doesn’t fit into that category (and wore a muzzle when out in public anyway).

      You’ll appreciate this as a teacher, I’m sure, but I think people need educating. I suspect that a good portion of those dog attacks were caused by people somehow mistreating the dog in the first place, and animals shouldn’t suffer the dire consequences of human stupidity forever. If I step in front of a moving vehicle tomorrow, then I deserve to get hit or at least receive an angry blast of the horn and a few expletives from the driver who has, I hope, slammed his or her brakes and mercifully spared me from being thrown into the road. The same applies to people who have no clue how to handle an animal with sharp teeth and claws. Some people should not be allowed to keep animals, just as some shouldn’t be allowed near children.

      We need to change how we acquire animals (by curbing the breeders and shop keepers who make them nothing more than objects to be ordered and collected); how they are portrayed in the media; how we needlessly abuse them for science and entertainment; and start dishing out harsh sentences to those found guilty of animal cruelty or neglect. But education should always start in the home, where parents (sorry, but I blame the parents for almost everything) should set a good example and teach respect for animals from an early age. They should not be purchased on a whim or made to order; they are not objects you can pick up and put back down when it suits, then discard once you’ve had enough of them. If every school visited a rescue centre, it would be a wonderful lesson in responsibility as well as humility, because we should be doing everything possible to discourage future generations from imitating our shallow, destructive way of living. And if people neutered their cats and dogs, it would also be a big help in raising welfare standards.

      I don’t have a problem with dogs being removed from the most irresponsible owners, because that is in the animals’ interests, but the Dangerous Dogs Act is a joke.

      Dare I also suggest that a percentage of dog wardens would rather their kennels and vans be full of agreeable but pitiful dogs, like Lennox, instead of snarling, rabid beasts with owners to match? It makes their job easier… We should change that, too: people who work with animals should care about animals and put their welfare above all else. We could start with Belfast City Council.

  5. I’m reading this just after I read another article stating that Ohio passed a new law declaring dogs cannot be described as “vicious” or “dangerous” based solely on their breed. I understand laws put in place to remove dangerous pets from society (though actually dogs only become dangerous because their owners encourage it), but to classify a dog as dangerous just because of its breed is ridiculous. I’ve known a number of pit terriers and mixes, and every one of them are among the sweetest animals I’ve ever seen.

    We need to punish the owners of vicious dogs, not the dogs and most certainly not the breed. Research the Mike Vick case for the proper way to handle truly vicious dogs. Even though not all of those dogs were able to be rehabilitated, the fact that it was tried makes me feel good about how that situation was handled.

    1. I’m from Ohio, born and raised but currently all over the US due to the military. With that being said, I have not stopped working endlessly on not only the law that just passed in Ohio stating that “declaring dogs cannot be described as “vicious” or “dangerous” based solely on their breed”. Not to mention Ohio has also been one of five states left in the us that consider animal abuse a misdemeanor rather then a felony, Which is “The OH HB 108”, also known as “Nitro’s Law” and hopefully all prevails! It breaks my heart and disgusts me that not only Lennox but what his family has went through!

      LET LENNOX GO HOME WHERE HE BELONGS! SAVE LENNOX 2012!

  6. the thought of my dog who i love so much being kept in a concrete kennel some place where i’m not even allowed to visit – for two years! – has had me in tears! this is such a horrible thing to happen to a dog who has always known love and hasn’t done anything to deserve this cruel punishment. i don’t normally pray, but today i’ve said a prayer for lennox and asked that he be allowed to go home at long last to people who will look after him properly! two years is a long time and the conditions he’s being kept in are shocking!

    belfast city council should be ashamed of themselves. i’ll never visit belfast again after this.

  7. The Dangerous Dogs Act is brilliant example of the f*cking useless knee-jerk politicians we have in this country whose main aim is getting getting the PR right, rather than actually doing what (not very) common sense would dictate. There are some things you just can’t legislate for and a dog being a ‘type’ is one of them.

    At the risk of stating the obvious of course a big dog has the potential to do more damage than some yappy thing in a Gucci ‘type’ handbag. That’s where responsible ownership comes into it – it’s very rarely ever the dog’s fault it’s usually the owner’s. That applies whether it’s making up for the inadequacies of a ned in a hoodie or a ned in a Police uniform (for whom the truncheon and fast car that makes a loud noise just aren’t enough).

    I’m thinking that making penis augmentation surgery available to these people on the NHS might be more cost effective in the long term (sorry, it does always seem to be men). At the very least it would be kinder on the dogs.

    Off to cuddle my dogs now. 😀

    1. I don’t know about that, but there should definitely be more neutering going on.

  8. Have just seen online a pic of poor Lennox in his cell with sawdust for bedding, it’s awful, heartbreaking. What a shame.

    Even worse and more cruel, I also read online:

    “Lennox is a therapy dog to a 12 year old disabled girl, whose health has deteriorated, and school grades suffered since Lennox has been taken away.”

    The world is turning crazy, completely lacking humanity.

    1. That’s been his home for two long years.

      I hate to say it and probably shouldn’t, because the final verdict has not come today and the family must wait another week or two to learn his fate, but keeping him hanging on like that and knowing that he is deteriorating and in need of anxiety medication, is also wrong. Were he my dog, I think I would have decided with a heavy heart a long time ago that it would be kinder to end his life at a point where it was a happy one, as anyone who has made that horrible decision with an elderly or failing pet will understand all too well. I hope the family don’t have to live with that should the decision, when it eventually arrives, be the same as before because that would be sheer agony.

      I hope they will be proved justified in choosing the path they have taken through his eventual release, otherwise how heavy the guilt knowing that they could have relieved him of his obvious suffering two years ago. What a terrible situation to be in. It seems they are damned either way.

    1. I think courts everywhere are as infuriating as the next one, not to mention as slow and petty.

  9. I would have thought their are more scary issues surrounding Belfast than a poor dog.

    Damian.

  10. This is off-topic but important:

    Having experienced U.S. earthquakes ourselves, I just wanted to extend our deepest empathy to Northern Italy after your unusually tragic earthquake. This quake destroyed large sections of a World Heritage Site.

    I can’t tell you how devastated I am for the loss of so much in life, limb, and culture. All are irreplaceable.

    Mother Nature dealt the world a cruel blow this week.

  11. Unbelievable, this is so idiotic that one wonders who can even think of harming an innocent animal and for what gain????

    I can’t understand how this story hasn’t been publicised until now, and it may be too late for #$#% sake.

    And the sad thing about it is that Lennox won’t be the same with the crap drugs and lack of family companionship because he’s different and didn’t do anything except for being born.

    Please keep us informed Fed. Thanks.

    1. It seems that a decision is now expected in a week or so.

      The time this has taken is absurd. The justice system shouldn’t have to be so annoyingly slow.

  12. FEd, this wonderful brave and loyal family of humans have every bit as much hope of freeing Lennox as there was with Dempsey, and Bruce – the bull terrier mix that Northern Ireland incarcerated for over 3 years in a crate where wagging his tail against the bars injured it to the extent that half of it was amputated, where he lost a third of his body weight and suffered a horrible sore across his nose trying to push through the bars. He was finally allowed to go to Southern Ireland where the sane people live.

    Countless dogs are suffering like this thanks to Lord Kenneth Baker’s insanity.

    To give up while there was still breath in Dempsey and Bruce’s bodies would have been a betrayal. No-one is prepared to give up on Lennox whilst there is still any chance at all.

    If these sub-human abusers succeed in murdering Lennox he will not have died in vain.

    His killers will never live it down, their credibility and reputations will be irrevocably damaged and countless many more dogs will be spared his fate as a direct result of the mass exposure of this obscene legislation and those prepared to enforce it at all cost, including their own moral integrity.

    I note with some satisfaction that his torturers are fearful for their safety.

    So they should be.

    1. To give up while there was still breath in Dempsey and Bruce’s bodies would have been a betrayal. No-one is prepared to give up on Lennox whilst there is still any chance at all.

      Yes, you are right of course and I happen to share your satisfaction. Bullies and liars absolutely should fear the truth catching up with them and I sincerely hope that it does, preferably without bringing any shame on the people who have campaigned so hard and for so long to free Lennox. With so many people out of work right now, you’d think many of them would do a much better job of enforcing this horrible legislation with common sense and be able to treat the dogs in their care with consideration and respect. So I hope that Lennox will be freed, first and foremost, and that secondly, lies and liars will be exposed and pay with their council tax-funded jobs. Whatever happens to them after that, I don’t really care.

      The whole thing is an absolute disgrace and the individuals responsible should be held to account.

  13. As others have said, you cover the ground so well Fed that there’s not much to add other than endorsement and sympathy for Lennox’s owners. One can only hope that this is a very rare exception as common sense, due process etc. seem to be so sadly lacking. There are plenty of dangerous people and objects around that we attempt to control without opting for banishment and destruction that make the “thinking” behind this legislation and enforcement very suspect.

    There’s an old maxim that two wrongs don’t make a right … there has to be a better way of dealing with the perceived danger of damaged dogs.

  14. Channel 4, 10pm – The Making of Wish You Were Here.

    Damian.

    Oh dear, hands up, who missed it?

  15. Sadly Tim there is nothing rare about it.

    Majlo nearly suffered the same fate in Norway when his human family moved there from Sweden, not realising what draconian attitudes they have to dogs in Norway – especially Pit Bull dogs. Fortunately they finally got a judge – after horrendous expense and many appeals – who allowed the family to take Majlo and flee home to Sweden.

    Here in New Zealand, the face of the SPCA, Bob Kerridge, tells his trusting public that “All Pit Bulls are born bad” and advises them not to take them into their homes. He has a no-exception euthanasia policy for the type and any of it’s hapless lookalikes who end up in his facility.
    However, since cases like this one involving Lennox and the wholesale slaughter of so many innocent dogs have reached so many ears, Breed Specific Legislation is going down like nine pins all over the world and it’s proponents have been paying the price finally.

    One high-profile scalp was that of Lucas County dog warden, Tom Skeldon, who murdered countless innocent dogs, some as young as 5 weeks of age accused of being Pit Bulls. After 25 years of getting away with murder an angry public forced him to jump before he was pushed.

    And you’re right Tim, this article covers all the bases exceptionally well.

    We have featured it on our Facebook page – American Pit Bull Terrier Association Inc (NZ) – and suggested that visitors send a copy of it to their local MPs and media. We certainly will!

    Thank you FEd.

  16. This is so wrong that it makes me sick. Maybe the people who wrote this law should be locked up.

    Thomas

  17. Oh please, nooooooooooooooooo. I just read Ullie’s statement, that David Cameron likes Pink Floyd and Dark Side of the Moon.

    I would like to see him and his cronies go to the Dark Side of the Moon.

  18. We want David Gilmour’s shows in Brazil, São Paulo city.

    Come on!

    Hugs!

  19. I feel awfully sorry for the dog. I think his family should have done the kindest thing and allowed him to be put to sleep. Admittedly when they first started their objection, they didn’t know how long it might drag on but I think it’s appalling the conditions the dog is living in and it’s gone on too long. Two years is a small portion of a life of seventy (+) years. It’s a very long portion for an animal which probably has 14 years.

    I would have thought that by now anyway, the poor dog would be dangerous because of his confinement.

    Poor show by all concerned.

    ash

  20. Hey Fed,

    To me with all that is going on in the world, this is a total non topic. In Ontario, Pit Bulls and associated breeds like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier have been outlawed with good reason. Before the ban, there was a long series of horrific attacks against people some badly maimed. Many attacks on other dogs as well left quite a few dead.

    I know the bleeding hearts will say that it is not fair that we can’t own them and it is not the dog’s fault. I hate to generalize but before the ban most of the Pit Bull owners here looked either like Nazi skinheads, drug dealers or people that didn’t realize the potential danger of what they own.

    I don’t doubt that there are some well behaved examples of the breed but the overall risk is too great to the general public. No other breed of dog and this includes German Sheppard and Doberman comes close to the havoc Pit Bulls can cause.

    Cheers, Howard

    I rarely criticize you Fed but this blog was off the mark. How about the massacre of infants in Syria as a more serious and proper topic for next time.

    1. How about the massacre of infants in Syria as a more serious and proper topic for next time.

      But the comments would all be in complete agreement, I should hope, and that would be quite boring. Thanks for disagreeing anyway.

      I was actually going to write about cats and their huge impact on local wildlife next. Probably best if you give that one a miss, mate. 🙂

    2. To me with all that is going on in the world, this is a total non topic.

      That’s a bit harsh.

      Since when did there being greater evils going on in the world negate the lesser ones? Of course what happened to those children and adults in Syria was beyond evil. Were it Kofi Annan that had written this blog post rather than FEd then I could see your point.

  21. Ash, Lennox is now just 8 years old. He could live to 15 years old. He was taken at 5 years old. Therefore, 13 years are free of this suffering – the first 5 were spent in a loving and knowledgeable family where he got a good start.

    The Michael Vick survivors prove beyond all reasonable doubt that despite the worst kind of abuse dogs can survive, forgive, and go on to live productive and happy lives.

    Killing Lennox for his misfortune and the crimes of his jailers is unconscionable.

    1. I know Karen, you would think that 13 out of 15 years is worth having. 🙁

      I just think that a dog is intelligent, loving, trustworthy, a friend, loyal, all those good things. Lennox surely must miss the loving family which has been replaced by who knows what.

      Does anyone pet his head, speak kindly to him, take him for a walk?

      I think it is cruel, a mental cruelty to inflict 2 years, that’s 730 days of isolation with no friendly companion and no comprehension of why this is happening, on a dog.

      Dogs have memory, he will recognise his family after all this time. I wonder if Lennox wonders where they are and why they have left him, how can anyone explain to him that he might be returned to his former life?

      I think if a human was living this nightmare, we’d become demented, we’d become dangerous and attack our jailer (thus proving of course that jailing him or killing him was the right thing to do in the first place because he was dangerous after all!)

      If he was my dog, I couldn’t bear the thought of his suffering. Sorry Karen, that’s all I meant.

      It seems to me that Lennox has become the focus of someone else’s agenda, perhaps some insane animal rights lawyer is trying to prove a point, advance his career. Maybe someone else is trying to push some other law to outlaw all dogs who aren’t fluffy and pretty. Again I’ll say it, 730 days and nights in isolation in poor conditions is no way to treat any animal. If it was my dog, I hope I’d find the strength to put him out of his misery. (THEN continue to campaign against this kind of treatment of a dog.)

      ash

      1. If it was my dog, I hope I’d find the strength to put him out of his misery. (THEN continue to campaign against this kind of treatment of a dog.)

        I have to say (did say) that, yes, so would I. I couldn’t bear the thought of my faithful friend being locked away like that, not knowing what he’d done wrong and why I’d deserted him, and hope with all my heart that when the final decision eventually comes, and there is no reason whatsoever why it should be taking so long (seems to me to be further proof that those who wield power and make the often ludicrous rules by which we all must live couldn’t give a damn for anyone but themselves), the family won’t regret not ending the poor boy’s misery two years ago. I would find that guilt incredibly hard to live with.

        Of course, had they ended his life when the powers that be would have been only too happy to oblige (and he’s done nothing wrong, don’t forget, so they should never have had to entertain the horrible idea of allowing their pet to become another victim of a stupid law), only to later discover that he would eventually have been freed, how truly awful they would feel. I couldn’t live with that guilt, either.

        This is such mental torture on many levels for all concerned.

  22. Lest we not forget the legend that is the Tamworth Two…

    Two 5 Month old pigs who legged it as they were being unloaded into a Slaughterhouse in the UK. After several days they were caught after being protected by the local villagers and were bought by a Newspaper.

    Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Pig lived out their lives in an Animal Sanctuary…

    Let’s hope Lennox is re-united with his family and enjoys a long and healthy future.

    1. :)) I remember those pigs! I can’t get over the publicity they generated.

      ash

  23. The way I see it, the dog’s been on death row for two years but hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s as simple as that.

    Those in Belfast who allowed this to happen should be ashamed. I hope they let him go home. Keeping him confined for two years and fighting the family through the courts is a waste of money for one thing.

  24. At the hearing on 25 May the judges reserved their decision. We’ve been keeping a close eye on it at the American Pit Bull Terrier Association Inc (NZ) and staying in close contact with the Irish Pit Bull Terrier Association so if you want bookmark our page for updates as they happen: American Pit Bull Terrier Association Inc (NZ).

  25. Off topic, sorry, but it’s so nice to see that (great) radio stations are still showing interest in David’s last album six years after its release:

    The Making Of ‘On An Island’ was broadcast last Friday (8 June) on Belgian ‘Classic 21’ radio station (French speaking).

    If anyone is interested, they can listen to the podcast of this Making Of here.

  26. The (human) world has gone completely f*cking mad. See this.

    We have trouble feeding the human population the natural assumption is that we have trouble feeding our pets, the next logical thought must be that we are using more of the earth’s natural resources to do it. This means wild animals are being displaced and driven to extinction because of human desires.

    Apart from the madness of fashion dogs above, humans have bred the dangerous dogs to be dangerous. How ironic then that we have hunted wolves to complete extinction (in Britain, I’m not sure where else) because they were considered to be a danger to humans!

    ash

    1. Oh dear, my reputation in tatters. . . I should qualify, I don’t actually read that newspaper, I have to get it for a relative then check it for animal cruelty stories. (It’s true, I have to fold over the page if I find anything.)

      ash

    2. Talking of vulgar, did you see the string of other “articles” on that page.

      “Femail??” “Bitchmail” more like. Who the hell buys that sh*t?

  27. Where were you yesterday Fed? You know full well some of us go to pieces when you’re tinkering. :))

    ash

    1. Sorry, Ash. I’m here, just waiting for the verdict on Lennox, which is due tomorrow morning (Tuesday 12 June).

  28. I know Ash, you want what we all want and that is justice for Lennox which is to go safely home to his family. For the nightmare to end. Let’s pray that is the outcome for this blameless dog and God knows how many others these monsters are torturing and murdering in their madness.

  29. If you haven’t heard: Bid to save Lennox from destruction fails.

    How sad, but, how predictable too.

    What a masquerade!

    I bet ‘they’ would have done anything – in that case, murdering an innocent – rather than admit a mistake, no?

    Once again, the presumption of innocence, which should apply to animals as well as humans, has been flouted in order to protect some egos.

    1. Sorry for adding nothing to the debate. I just read again your post (more in depth) and realised that you had already expressed – of course in a better way – the same thoughts. Bloody language barrier.

  30. Those people should be F**king ashamed of themselves. As a dog lover/owner, I’m thoroughly disgusted.

  31. Can someone please send me an e-mail on what the heck is going on? I’ve been glued to my laptop all day. All I came across is the family will be giving a statement a little later after this very wrong decision was made. Does that mean they’re putting him down? Or that there’s still a chance? I’m going nuts.

    1. The latest is that Lennox is still alive and his family may choose to take their case to London’s Supreme Court, which is the final court of appeal in the UK. They have made this statement, with another expected shortly.

      Apparently there have also been offers made to adopt Lennox from the Republic of Ireland, where he would not fall foul of Breed Specific Legislation.

  32. FEd, thank you for the update. When I came across the news, my heart sunk for Lennox and his family! Just down right disgusts me! Hopefully the family takes their case to London’s Supreme Court and WIN!

    LET LENNOX RETURN HOME! SAVE LENNOX 2012!

  33. It is a disgrace to God to put any animal to sleep! Lions/tigers and bears are dangerous, does that mean we put them to sleep too?

    The least Ireland could do is put him for adoption and let him go somewhere else. The ignorance of some people….

  34. There is a tiny glimpse of hope. Surely Lennox will have his stay of execution. Let him be heard everywhere.

    Thanks Fed for keeping him alive for a while!

  35. So, Lennox is still alive as of now? Which, my time is 4 am on Friday, June 15th. Any news on if the case is going to London’s Supreme Court? What’s this “stay of execution?” Don’t tell me they’re putting him down.

    I’m going nuts over here and my heart breaks for Lennox and family. One thing’s for sure, that family is tough and real troopers!

  36. Well said. Though I know nothing of dogs. However, I think Gandhi should have extended his quote: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged on how it treats the weakest and those who can’t defend themselves”.

    That includes animals of course. But also abused children, mentally ill/vulnerable people, weak elderly etc.

    All I’m saying is, to not forget proportions. I don’t mean to offend anyone.

  37. Once again, sorry for being off topic, but, here, a radio station offers (till 8 July) a Pink Floyd DVD as contest prize, called ‘Pink Floyd, The Story Of Wish You Were Here’ (including, in particular, des interviews “inédites” (new) de David). Never heard of it before. Is it an official release? If so, and if you know it, is it worth it? Thank you.

    BTW, ‘Wish You Were Here’ is one of my favourite PF albums.

    1. It’s the recent BBC documentary from John Edginton, broadcast last month on BBC Four and VH1, which included some footage that’s already been used before and seen elsewhere but is, by and large, made up of new material.

      It’s released this week through Eagle Rock Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray and apparently includes some footage that wasn’t shown on TV.

      More about it here.

      You can also win a copy here.

    2. Oh thank you, I knew you were a true font (or is it ‘fount’? – thinking that ‘fount’ could come from ‘fountain’?…) of knowledge !

      Now, if you reply (but there’s really no need to do so), typing with one finger, please use the following code:

      “o” for ‘font’, “u” for ‘fount’, “b” for ‘both’. 😛

      Thanks for the links, too.

  38. Hi there! Just to say that today I was across a park to come back home and there was a little band soundchecking for a party in the evening. On the stage there was just a boy at the piano and, waiting for his band’s friends, he was playing some notes from Summer ’68. 🙂 Of course I noticed it immediately! And I have to say that now that I am working hard so much to have not much time to dedicate to music, it was very very very nice to listen to something so familiar and full of memories. It was so nice, to change my tiring day in a nice day! Sometimes, little things can be so big. 🙂

    Have a nice day. A big hug to you all (and in particular to Fed, Tim and Michéle).

    Lucia

  39. The latest statement from Lennox’s family is that they will not appeal further. Their legal advisors say that a further appeal will not succeed as Lennox has been adjudged by BCC’s ‘experts’ as potentially dangerous, despite other properly qualified and respected evaluator’s evidence to the contrary.

    Their only hope now is that BCC will allow Lennox to be sent to the USA and if not they will fight to be allowed to say goodbye as BCC murders their innocent pet.

    1. Then let’s hope he is allowed a new life somewhere else and that the damage caused by living in miserable conditions all this time can be repaired with love and kindness.

      And that the liars soon get their comeuppance, of course.

  40. This is an extraordinarily blatant exercise in malfeasance and state sanctioned animal cruelty.

    If Lennox is murdered it will have a lasting effect on all concerned and not for the better. The entire saga just beggars belief.

  41. Where are you Fed? Have you locked yourself in the bathroom again?

    Any news on Lennox?

    Damian

  42. Totally off-topic FEd, but as a special request, in response to a tweet from Tim-C, “Ken, looking forward to the A-Z to hill-walking, cycling songs …”

    The least I can do is fulfil his request. So here goes…

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
    Bike – Pink Floyd (Naturally)
    Cycles – Frank Sinatra
    Day Tripper – The Beatles
    Even The Bad Times Are Good – The Tremeloes
    Foot Tapper – The Shadows
    Going Down The Road – Roy Wood
    High Hopes – Pink Floyd
    I Can See For Miles – The Who
    Joybringer – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
    Keep On Truckin’ – Eddie Kendricks
    Long And Winding Road – The Beatles
    Move On Up – Curtis Mayfield
    Never Say Die – Black Sabbath
    One Slip – Pink Floyd
    Pump It Up – Elvis Costello (You’re bound to get a flat)
    Queen – Bicycle Race
    Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush
    Saddle Up – David Christie
    Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds
    Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
    Valley Road – Bruce Hornsby & The Range
    Where The Streets Have No Name – U2
    XTC – Senses Working Overtime
    You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & The Pacemakers
    ZZ Top – Legs

    If any Irregulars want to support Tim, you can do so here.

    1. Another sterling effort, Ken, with bonus points for including that jolly Tremeloes number, which is one of my favourites.

      All the very best, Tim. Here’s an extra one for you: Queen – Bicycle Race.

    2. Really good A to Z Ken. :))

      Thank you for posting a link to Tim’s Twitter, a very good read.

      Well done Tim! Again! 🙂

      ash

  43. Is there a dog heaven?

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Einstein.

    1. Reading your comment Michèle, and thinking of Piero’s (thanks, I signed), it seems to me that some of the biggest problems facing the world today, is indeed human stupidity.

      The planet is overpopulated by humans who all want access to diminishing resources, see Greenpeace, Piero’s link for just one example, food is obviously another. Anyone else see the reports about Bill Gates funding research into GM foods?

      What really confounds me is that humans have known about a simple solution for a long time and we still won’t use it. Birth control!

      ash

  44. Lennox has been ‘dispatched’ now. Apparently Belfast City Council has had to close down all its email addresses due to the amount of Lennox-related email crashing the servers.

    Much as I hate to say it, at least poor Lennox is out of his misery. He should never have been allowed to suffer like this. If his family had kept him in the conditions that the Council kept him they would have been prosecuted for cruelty.

    This whole case is disgusting.

    1. A sad, sickening shambles that stinks of ‘cover-up’.

      Apparently Channel 4’s current affairs series, Dispatches, could investigate Belfast City Council if they receive enough e-mail requests to do so. Their address can be found here.

  45. It’s a shame. “With every mistake we must surely be learning” sang the great George Harrison… I hope those men will not repeat it. They are cruel. Something must be done NOW.

    Even if it’s off topic I invite you all to sign the petition at savethearctic.org or at least to give a look at it.

    Have a nice day everybody,

    Piero

  46. So sad to hear they put Lennox too sleep. Very cruel, shame on them.

    Damian

  47. I commented on this sad situation a couple weeks ago but do not see it. I commented that I would hope the people deciding will take each case into consideration in accordance to each special circumstance. Therefore, the animals that are trained to be good are not executed because the unfortunate situation that another poor animal is subject to and making them aggressive/mean.

  48. I can only speak for myself, here, now, and in the future as long as it takes, I will NOT give up on justice for LENNOX!

  49. On vacation, I read a few days ago that Lennox was put down. Made me very sad. What does it say about us all that we treat our pets in this way?

  50. Thanks for all the difficult and lengthy journalism you and the Bloggers contributed Fed. At least Lennox and family can rest. Imagine other horrors we haven’t heard about yet each and every day! Scary.

  51. A sad, sickening shambles that stinks of ‘cover-up’.

    Indeed. Cover-up and corruption.

    An example: “Lightfoot has not been investigated for perjury (in fact, she was promoted last March, to the position of Animal Welfare Officer)”

    Absolutely disgusting.

    So many questions but no answers. I do hope there will be a serious (independent) investigation and they will all pay the price.

  52. We need to have an outside investigation team go on and begin their cases on these worthless, soulless, heartless people who make me sick!

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