Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Belfast City Council kills family pet despite pleas from animal lovers

Belfast City Council today killed a family pet despite an international campaign to save his life.

Lennox was deemed to be the wrong type of dog, so he was dragged away from his home and put down at 7am this morning.

He had not bitten anyone, scratched anyone, snarled or ever shown any aggression.

But as he was an “illegal”  pit-bull terrier type dog, he was taken from owner Caroline Barnes by Belfast City Council two years ago, and killed this morning.

Belfast City Council confirmed in a statement that Lennox had been “humanely” destroyed.

You know what Belfast City Council, animal cruelty really irritates me.

The word "humanely" in this context, quite frankly, baffles me.

I am asking every single person who reads this blog, and who opposes the action take, to voice their disgust via this email  - or tweet @belfastcc

Animal lovers were left heartbroken at the treatment of this dog who professionals said posed no risk.

Supporters gathered outside Belfast City Hall yesterday to hold a candle lit vigil for him as his 28-day reprieve ended at midnight last night.

Despite him having Labrador and American Bulldog heritage, he was measured by Belfast authorities and identified as a Pit Bull-type breed.

Pit Bulls are banned under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991 and Lennox was condemned to death.

Ms Barnes had fought the authorities for two years.

In a statement she said her dog was killed “simply because of his appearance”.

She said: “Lennox cannot speak but we will be his voice. If this was a human we would declare this racism.

“We ask every kind hearted person for your support, don’t let them murder him.”

Unfortunately her pleas fell on deaf ears as that is exactly what Belfast City Council did.

Ms Barnes described how her pet had been “shaking like a leaf” during an assessment before being held in captivity.

To add further insult it emerged Belfast City Council denied the family the opportunity to collect Lennox’s body, leaving them feeling that they will never gain closure.

In a statement Ms Barnes said: “We have been informed however that we will receive ‘some’ ashes in the mail.”

More than 200,000 people appealed to Belfast City Council, they apparently ignored each one and went ahead.

In a statement this morning the council said: “The council regrets that the court action was necessary but would emphasise that the safety of the public remains its key priority.”

This is nothing short of a disgusting act of animal cruelty.

Animal lovers will know that people’s pets are part of their family, and more often than not, loved as much as children.

I could not bear to think of any of the animals I have known ever being subjected to cruelty or suffering.

If you are touched by this story, please voice your disgust either by contacting Belfast City Council to complain, as is your right, or tweet - that’s what it’s there for.

But please don’t just close down this page and forget about it.

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