“I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”, Martin Luther King Jr.
We are still striving to become an enlightened species, and stereotypes, toward other humans or even other animals, remain a huge challenge.
The fact is, dogs have teeth and dogs can bite. The fact is, humans are capable of murder, rape, hatred and inconceivable acts of cruelty to one another, to other beings and to the earth itself. The fact is, color of skin, race, ethnicity, country, religion or any other stereotype cannot predict whether a person will harm another person or not.
The fact is, breed of dog cannot be used to predict whether a dog will bite or not.
Here is Lennox’s story. If you are moved by his story, and that of his family, please sign the petition (link provided below) and please work in our own country to educate elected officials about the inaccuracy and wrongness of breed stereotyping.
For 304 days 22 hours 47 minutes 53 seconds, Lennox Has Been Locked Up By Belfast City Council Alone & Without His Family.
Hi I’m a 5 year old American Bull dog Labrador cross and Belfast City Council want to put me to death because of how I look, I have never done any wrong. Please can you help me? I want to go home!
On the 19th May 2010, Lennox, a five year old American Bull dog Labrador cross was wrongfully seized by Belfast City Council Dog Wardens from his loving family home where he lives with his owners and his kennel mates. Lennox committed no crime nor did any member of the public complain about him. Three Belfast City Council Dog Wardens came with the PSNI to his home unannounced. The Dog Wardens then told the Police to leave as there was no need for them at the location. The Belfast City Council Dog Wardens then had tea with his owners, smoked cigarettes, chatted, played with the other family dogs after which the Dog Wardens then measured Lennox’s muzzle and rear legs with a dress maker’s tape measure and decided on those measurements without seeking any professional advice that he was possible “Pit Bull Type Breed” and so he was led from his home to be put to death by the Council. Northern Ireland has yet to fully implement the same dog legislation as mainland UK; if Northern Ireland were to complete the dog legislation here then Lennox could now be at home with his family and they would not now be facing legal prosecution. The USPCA said the law in Northern Ireland could be changed simply and rather quickly by an order in Council.
Lennox’s family have done more than required by the law as responsible dog owners who also foster dogs for various Northern Ireland dog shelters. When Lennox was a puppy his owners had him neutered, licensed, insured, DNA registered, Pet Safe registered and micro chipped and although the Belfast City Council have issued a dog licence for Lennox for the last five years and continue to do so today, the Council now find the need to class him as a Pit Bull type dog and murder him. On the day Lennox was ripped from his family home the Belfast City Council issued his owner with a warrant of seizure which was incorrectly addressed and was for another location, furthermore the Council used the ADBA Inc (American Dog Breeders Association Incorporated) breed standards guide to help identify Lennox as possible Pit Bull type. It has now become clear that the Council used this ADBA breed standards guide illegally breaking international and Berne copyright laws as Belfast City Council have never been authorised by the ADBA to use the copyrighted breed standards guide in full or derived version. Since Lennox’s seizure the ADBA have issued the Belfast City Council with ‘Cease & Desist’ orders due to the Council’s unauthorised continued use of ADBA material.
Lennox’s owners have only been contacted once by the Belfast City Council and this was two hours after Lennox had been taken. One of the Dog Wardens who seized Lennox telephoned Lennox’s owner to say “If you do not sign him over to us to be destroyed then you will most certainly lose your job as we will force a prosecution upon you through the courts.” On many attempts the family have telephoned the Council’s Dog Control Manager but to date the Manager has never taken the families call or returned any calls. Lennox’s family have never been told where he is being kept, what condition he is in, what type of care, feeding or regular exercise he receives, if any. Lennox’s family have repeatedly requested visitation to see what condition he is in however the Dog Control Manager for Belfast City Council Dog Wardens Department has continually refused all requests through the families Solicitor. Photographs of Lennox have emerged recently and have been passed to the family which clearly show Lennox in a cold inhumane concrete kennel which is visibly too small, there are no visible signs of a constant fresh water supply, heating, toys for stimulation and the photographs show Lennox sitting upright in a box type bed surrounded by his own faeces with only saw dust for bedding which many dog experts have agreed is harmful to dogs and unsuitable for bedding, yet Belfast City Council Dog Wardens Department have stated they practice humane animal welfare as set out by the DARD (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development). After studying the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is clear that none of Lennox’s welfare needs are being met at this undisclosed Council contracted kennel.
Local leading MP’s joined in support of Lennox stating in the Belfast Telegraph and other media they were “Appalled” by the seizure and treatment of Lennox and his family. A global campaign which boasts hundreds of thousands of supporters and petition signatures has begun in support of Lennox’s freedom. The ADBA Inc, various Animal Rights groups, Animal Welfare organisations, Veterinarians, Dog Breed and Behaviourist Experts have all gave their support for Lennox’s freedom and many supporters who are regular tourists to Northern Ireland have went further to state they will not return to Northern Ireland until Lennox is returned to his home. The most heartfelt plea of all was heard from Brooke, the owners eleven year old Daughter who is registered disabled. Lennox grew up around Brooke and the two became inseparable. Due to Brooke’s illness she is unable to play each day with other children and so found Lennox to always be there as a playmate and someone to be of comfort to her. Since her best friend was taken Brooke has missed much School due to suffering health and unneeded stress caused by missing her dog. Brooke’s specialist Doctor at Belfast Royal Hospital for Sick Children has also expressed growing concern for the child’s separation from her pet.
We ask for your help to Save Lennox, stop his incarceration and stop him from being put to death by Belfast City Council who wrongfully took him. If you have any compassion you will clearly see that far too many wrongs and errors have been made by the Council in the seizure of this much loved family pet and you will help correct a wrong. Please help this little girl become reunited with her best friend.