Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Message from Boycott Belfast until it frees Lennox and addresses its BSL failings

Boycott Belfast until it frees Lennox and addresses its BSL failings
posted on Facebook 11 July 2012

Today, we mourn for Lennox, a seven-years' old innocent who was killed by order of the belfast city council. What did he do? For five years, he lived peacefully with his family, knowing the warmth and love to be had there, being the "bestest friend in the world" to Brooke, only to be torn from them two years ago on the evidence of a tailor's measuring tape, a cheat-sheet, and the evidence of a warden whose evidence given in court has been contradicted by the photographs showing her and Lennox enjoying quiet time...peace...a little warmth from a concrete cell lined with straw and little else. Little did Lennox know that she, that warden, would be instrumental in the death verdict initially given by Judge Rodgers in 2011, and interestingly upheld by the self-same judge on initial appeal. Again the Barnes family appealed, with hope, with faith, and after presenting it to a panel of three judges on the Supreme Court, the Barnes family waited...and waited...and the judges waited, until the Olympic torch run had passed through belfast, and only then did they release their verdict, knowing of the many thousands of Lennox supporters that also waited, and their verdict? Death.

Every avenue open, was taken by the Barnes family; we, as individuals, coming together in a common cause -- Lennox -- gave them our support, our hope, our love. Lennox was our hope, and our love.

And today Lennox is dead. Did the Barnes family do anything wrong? No, they did not -- they fought with every fibre, every bit of scrap they had...Did we do anything wrong? No, we loved Lennox, raised him as a call to why BSL and DDA are wrong, and we fought for him...Lord, did we fight for him

Did Lennox do anything wrong? No, Lennox was a dog, a family pet, loved and held and kissed and cared for...

What did Lennox do wrong, belfast city council? What did Lennox do wrong, dog wardens of belfast? What did Lennox do wrong, judges of belfast?

What did Lennox do wrong, that his family could not re-home him safely away from belfast's lauded "Duty of Care?" What did Lennox do that he could not have the Barnes family, HIS FAMILY, with him as he died? What did Lennox do wrong that the Barnes family could not have his body back for respect and burial? What did Lennox do wrong that the Barnes family could not have Lennox's collar back, as a treasured keepsake and memorial?

What did Lennox do wrong, belfast city council?

Today we mourn Lennox, as a loved pet should be mourned; tomorrow, we march on belfast, with Lennox as our banner --

Who will mourn for you, belfast city council, as your city's reputation dies as you killed Lennox?

A Message from Animal Farm Foundation

Animal Farm Foundation 
posted on Facebook 11 July 2012

Our hearts go out to the family of Lennox, a family dog who was executed today by the Belfast City Council under the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. This law discriminates against "any dog of the type known as the pit bull terrier," a determination that is made by the court based on the dog's physical characteristics, not his behavior or, more important, the owner's behavior. 

Wherever breed discriminatory legislation (BDL) has been tried -- abroad and in the US -- it has consistently failed to enhance public safety and protect the public from reckless owners. This paper from the National Canine Research Council outlines the worldwide failures of BDL:

BDL not only fails to meet its objective of public safety, it also wastes precious taxpayer dollars and resources that could otherwise be used to build better communities for people and pets alike. Imagine what could have been accomplished in the two years Belfast spent targeting Lennox? Imagine the improvements that could have been made to the Belfast community, had its leaders invested in effective dog laws instead of being guided by fear?

We hope everyone who advocated for Lennox will continue their efforts for dogs here in the US. Every day places like Denver, Miami-Dade County, Prince George's County (Maryland), and small towns across the country execute family pets like Lennox just because of the way they look. Every day US taxpayer dollars are wasted, US families are torn apart, and US communities fail to thrive because of needless hysteria and ineffective legislation. Every day there is a need -- and an opportunity -- to "Save Lennox."

But let us not lose sight of the significant progress being made. As of 2012, more communities are rejecting or repealing BDL than are passing it. The current industry standard is to evaulate dogs as individuals and hold humans accountable for their actions. Most animal shelters provide "pit bull" dogs with the same treatment and opportunity as other dogs, based on their individual behavior. The overwhelming majority of "pit bull" dog owners -- like all dog owners -- are responsible people who care deeply about public safety and their pet's well-being. And as a result, dog bites throughout the US are at historic lows and communities are safer than they've ever been, despite increases in both human and canine populations.

The story of Lennox came to a tragic and cruel end today. But together we can start a new chapter in the human-canine bond so that history stops repeating itself and the human-canine bond continues to thrive.

Lennox News from 11 July 2012

A collection of news articles, tweets and comments after Lennox was executed in Belfast, Northern Ireland yesterday.

Victoria Stilwell debates Pat McCarthy of the BCC

Belfast authorities murder Lennox, allegedly for public safety

Outrage over Lennox: Dog put to sleep for looking like a pit bull in Northern Ireland

Robinson brands Lennox death 'folly'

Kc Dog Blog - Lennox, the dog, is dead -- and the power of channeled passion

Stubby Dog - For Lennox



Peter Robinson ?@DUPleader
Destroying a dog that had no history of aggression is folly and shames society. ?#Lennox?

PaulineMM ‏@PaulineMM
@ItsMeOrTheDog Anti BSL peaceful protests on Saturday; London, Brighton, Southsea, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow Plse RT …

Victoria Stilwell ‏@ItsMeOrTheDog
RT I am beyond enraged. The family heard about Lennox's death through me!! @belfastcc didn't even bother to tell them first. ‪#disgust

Lennox ‏@SaveLennox
Not only has @Belfastcc refused to return Lennox's body to family but now refuse to return his collar as a keep sake for the little girl.

Victoria Stilwell ‏@ItsMeOrTheDog
Pat McCarthy just said it on radio, ' pit bull type dogs are dangerous.' BSL breeds ignorance!

Read more retweets by me at


Comments from around Facebook that I believe are worth sharing

“I have to say that I completely disagree with boycotting Belfast. Punishing many for the sins of few is EXACTLY what the law that allowed Lennox to be murdered is about. Don't forget, Lennox's family lives in Belfast and if you punish ALL of Belfast for what the Council did, you're going to punish them. Don't you think they've been through enough already? If you really want to make a difference, fight Breed Specific Legislation.”

“Rest in Peace Lennox. In your time on this Earth, you have touched the hearts of countless people. Your death will not be in vain, as you have opened the world's eyes when it comes to the horrors of BSL. Until we as humans can learn to overlook physical appearances and accept everyone, regardless of color, creed, or BREED, we have no right to call ourselves a "civilized" society. We will continue to fight to put an end to BSL everywhere until the day comes when no dog is judged based on his or her appearance. Stop the killing. End BSL- Tee, Proud Pit Bull Mama” - Whispering Woods Animal Rescue

“We fought two years to save Lennox´s life now we´ll fight the years to come to honour his memory and defend all the other Lennoxs around. In a world where animal abusers walk free and innocent dogs are killed for stupid laws like this one we shall stand together and strong to change it. The battle is far from over, it has just begun.”

“Ireland is divided into TWO countries, for those of you who aren't aware. There's the Republic of Ireland, which is in the south, and Northern Ireland, which is part of Great Britain. Great Britain has BSL; the Republic of Ireland does NOT. I am just as unhappy about this as everybody else, but spewing hatred and ignorance isn't going to change anything; it's only going to harden people's hearts to our cause.”

“It would be extremely narrow minded to start heaping insults on all Irish people. Remember that Lennox and his family are Irish too. This was the deed of a few imbeciles, not am entire nation. Starting a war with an entire country over this horrendous tragedy and act of evil would be a poor way of honoring Lennox's memory. Let's band together in sorrow and for a good cause instead. Let's ensure that Belfast CC's and the court's unspeakably cruel acts will lead to something positive. That is the only way a victory can be achieved, and the only way that goodness and love can conquer evil in the end.”

“Lennox lives on through all the people that care about him. In his honor adopt, foster, share animals in need on fb, and most of all EDUCATE!!!! People need to understand the facts and dispell the myths. We need to end BSL, pet stores, high kill shelters, dog is a never ending list!!! Lennox lives.....through us!”

Letter of complaint written to bcc by a supporter, thought it summed everything up..

"You killed an innocent animal to save face. Are your hearts so withered that you could show no compassion? Are your minds so small that you could not grasp reason? Are your egos so large that you could not listen to the voices around the world that called for justice?
You were offered many ways out of your predicament but you chose to destroy a beautiful animal. This speaks very poorly for your ability to run a large city. I understand that you are too proud to read the numerous letters and emails addressing this issue, but look inside your souls and ask yourself when you toss and turn in your beds at night if you really did the right thing for the people of Belfast, for the family, and for God's creation"

"I want to offer my thanks to Belfast City Council for:
1. Uniting the world against injustice.
2. Making us all cry..and I certainly needed a few good crying jags
3. making it clear to all that one dog's life (and death) can make a difference in this rotten world.
4. causing many of us to pray..especially me, cuz i should pray more.
5. making others who mistreat animals fear for the judgement coming upon them."

"R.I.P Lennox and all the other furbabies that will be killed today worldwide because of how they look. Understandably emotions are running high, but I was always taught never let hate and vengeance consume you, and it is something I still live by today. Because if you do, you will never have room in your heart for love, compassion and care, for those are the things that make us what we are and why we care so deeply. Plus those three things are what guide us through the darkest times in our lives and lead us out to the light, stronger and more determined to carry on to be the voice of those that have no voice! ~ Marie" - Rescue Cocoa