Official Statement From Lennox’s Family

We apologise for the silence as we know our many friends and supporters around the world have been desperate for news but until we had further talks with our legal team we had nothing new to share. We needed to explore all possible options before we issued another statement as we did not wish to give those that have campaigned so tirelessly any false hope or for anything to be taken out of context as has happened in the past.

Whilst there may well be errors in the Judge’s ruling from a point of law this has little bearing on whether we can or should progress by taking the case to a higher court. The ruling is based on the Judge’s decision that he deems Lennox to be unsafe despite evidence given by those qualified to assess and understand dog behaviour that contradicts the testimony of the Prosecution that was presented in court. This has given us little room for manoeuvre.

Our concern and priority has always been the welfare of our beloved boy. 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. 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.

We have attempted to write this statement many, many times but have struggled to put in writing that the fight to spare Lennox’s life may well be over. It has been almost impossible for us to accept that we have to admit defeat. We always believed that there was some hope and that justice would prevail. We were wrong. There have been many dark days for us since Len was taken and we want you all to know that it is your support and kindness that kept us going through the blackest times.

This is all we can share with you at the moment and we are finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing more that we can do from a legal point of view and that Lennox may well be killed. We have one last hope that Belfast City Council will allow Lennox to be rehomed in the USA. The offer is there but we have no say in whether this offer will be accepted. We have never refused to rehome Lennox. That decision was taken out of our hands from the moment Len took his final walk with us from our house to the Dog Wardens van.
If the offer is turned down we will fight for our right to say goodbye. We cannot bear the thought that Lennox will die without being reminded of the hearts and hands that love him.

Thank you.


Wednesday 13th June 2012 – Official Press Statement From Lennox’s Family

We would like to thank everyone for the countless messages that we have received in the last 24 hours during what is a very difficult time for our family and for the support we have had from so many since Lennox was seized in 2010. The past two years have been extremely distressing for many reasons and we appreciate that this has been a very emotive case for dog lovers worldwide who have spoken out against the failings of Breed Specific Legislation. We take some comfort in the knowledge that we are not the only ones to be devastated by the recent ruling. We are in talks with our legal team and will make another statement in due course.

Thank you

Jingle Bells For Lennox

Jingle Bells For LennoxA new rendition of the traditional Christmas song ‘Jingle Bells’ has been released online today as part of an ongoing appeal to save the life of a family dog currently incarcerated by Belfast City Council Dog Control Department. Lennox, an American bulldog/Labrador crossbreed owned by Mrs Caroline Barnes, has been locked away since May 2010, accused by Belfast City Council, of being a banned pit bull ‘type’ dog under current Dangerous Dog Legislation.
Lennox’s family and supporters hope the song ‘Jingle Bells for Lennox’ will highlight their Christmas campaign and keep Lennox in hearts and minds through the holiday season and beyond.
The campaign includes an appeal for the public to remember abandoned and unwanted pets and to consider sending a gift to a rescue shelter for dogs and cats in need. Lennox’s family have appealed for his life to be spared and they hope for good news in the New Year.
UK musicians Maria Daines and Paul Killington recorded the Christmas single to support the campaign to Save Lennox. Daines, who has penned many songs for animal welfare issues said ‘It is high time dog law was made fair for responsible owners and innocent dogs. Breed Specific Legislation causes untold misery and suffering because it targets dogs that look a certain way. We would not tolerate prejudice against human beings and neither should we accept discrimination against companion pets because of the way they look.’
Currently over 120,000 people have signed a petition asking for Lennox to be freed. ‘Jingle Bells for Lennox’ will be available to download free of charge from the Save Lennox website from 1st December 2011. There will also be an option to donate a small amount to DDA Watch, a UK group campaigning for the end of breed specific legislation.

For more information & how you can help please visit the Save Lennox Christmas Campaign.

In Court – A Brief Review Of The Lennox Appeal Hearing

Day One Of Lennox Appeal Hearing – 16th September 2011

Laganside Courts - Belfast, Northern Ireland

Laganside Courts - Belfast, Northern Ireland

On the first day of the appeal hearing the court heard from three Belfast City Council dog wardens who were all involved in Lennox’s seizure. As the day progressed those within the court room listened and heard three different versions of events, three varying statements were given by the three wardens on the stand who all took an oath before giving their evidence.

The main focus of the day’s hearing was fixed on one particular dog warden who led the seizure of Lennox from his home in May 2010. On one occasion this warden was being pressed for an answer regarding an earlier video that the court had watched in which another member of Belfast City Council had quite clearly stated on the video that Lennox had “bitten someone who was here before” again pressed for an answer this warden was asked if Lennox had ever bitten anyone whilst in the care of Belfast City Council, the warden turned to the Barrister and finally answered “No.”

The Belfast City Council dog warden continued to be cross examined for a while but looking now quite anxious and irate giving her answers Judge Derek Rodgers finally called a halt to proceedings to allow for a short lunch break.

Again questions arise as to why these three dog wardens employed by Belfast City Council feel the need to give three variations of their statements and why one staff member was clearly seen and heard on a video played to the court room stating Lennox had bitten someone when all those involved knew this to be untrue.

The first day’s proceedings ended with only the Belfast City Council dog wardens taking to the stand. Judge Derek Rodgers asked for the court to resume the following Friday for a second day to enable all witnesses to take the stand.

Day Two Of Lennox Appeal Hearing – 23rd September 2011

Picture Source

The second day of Lennox’s appeal hearing heard from the remaining witnesses, Peter Tallack acting as expert witness for Belfast City Council, Sarah Fisher acting as Lennox’s expert witness and Ms Barnes, Lennox’s registered owner.

First to take the witness stand was Peter Tallack (Pictured) acting for Belfast City Council as breed identifier. Peter Tallack, an ex Metropolitan Police PC of 25 years who acted as a dog handler whilst serving as a PC until his retirement. Mr Tallack took the witness stand to be cross examined and as proceedings progressed Mr Tallack’s replies became more aggressive and agitated as he seemed extremely uncomfortable during which he continually fidgeted. In a bizarre outburst a flustered, blush faced Mr Tallack who was seemingly attempting to evade a question when being cross examined took from his pocket a handkerchief, wiped his face and brow several times, sipped from a glass of water before boasting to Judge Derek Rodgers “Your Honour I am sorry I cannot continue as people in the gallery are looking at me.” Before leaving the witness stand Mr Tallack implied that as Ms Barnes walks with a limp she should not own a dog of such size or strength, this comment was immediately halted by Ms Barnes Barrister who objected to Mr Tallack’s comment stating “You are not a medical professional and therefore you do not know my clients medical history.”

Picture Source

Next to take the witness stand was Sarah Fisher (Pictured) acting as Lennox’s behavioural expert. Sarah Fisher has many years experience working with all types of animals and is one of the UK’s leading professionals in animal behaviour. Sarah Fisher is also accredited as the UK’s highest qualified Equine and Companion Animal TTouch Instructor and runs the UK TTouch Centre that offers help in training, handling and rehabilitation of horses and companion animals. Sarah Fisher explained her findings to the court and also points of importance that had been raised in her assessment video that had been shown to the court on day one of the appeal. The court heard much expert evidence from Sarah Fisher regarding Lennox’s physical and mental condition and finished her cross examination by explaining that Lennox is a “friendly dog” who “does not pose a threat to the public” Before leaving the witness stand Judge Derek Rodgers took time to thank Sarah Fisher for her evidence.

Finally the court heard from Lennox’s owner. Ms Barnes took to the witness stand and when cross examined explained to the court and Judge Derek Rodgers how her Daughter and Lennox bonded from a very early age due to her Daughters ongoing health problems that stops her Daughter from playing outside like most normal children do each day, the court heard how Lennox has acted as a therapy dog for Ms Barnes Daughter. Ms Barnes continued by telling the court that since Lennox’s seizure by Belfast City Council that her ill Daughter has been distraught, lonely and not the same child and explained how Lennox’s absence has disrupted the entire Family’s everday life. Continuing to be cross examined by Belfast City Council’s Barrister Ms Barnes, who has other pets and also foster’s dogs, maintained that she would not have kept Lennox if he posed any danger. “Much as I love dogs and I have worked with dogs for over 20 years, my first priority is as a mother,” she told Belfast County Court.

Steven Molloy, Barrister for Belfast City Council, put it to Ms Barnes that Lennox deals poorly with stressful situations and strangers, “He’s waiting to go off,” he said. Ms Barnes replied: “No, he’s not waiting to go off. What you need to understand is that to Lennox a stressful situation is strangers forcing themselves physically on him.” Mr Molloy continued by claiming all the evidence pointed to the dog being dangerous and capable of attacking without notice but Ms Barnes insisted: “No, it’s not correct. All dogs have four legs, they all have teeth and they all have capabilities.”

Judge Derek Rodgers will give his decision on Lennox’s fate this Friday 30th September at Belfast Laganside Courts.

Belfast City Council's Intimidation Tactics

Many frequent followers of the Save Lennox Campaign will already be aware of the numerous reports over the past months of Belfast City Council’s dog warden team parking just meters away from Lennox’s owner’s home for lengthy periods of time. These almost daily occurrences have continued and get more regular on the lead up to any of Lennox’s court hearings. As unbelievable as some people may find this, it seems this is the tactics being employed by Belfast City Council and one can only assume that Belfast City Council management are aware of these “stop outs” by their dog warden staff and if not why not? someone surely had to authorise this? yet another waste of public money.

A few pictures of Belfast City Council’s dog warden team have been taken over the past months when they have decided to sit and watch Lennox owners home but the one below seems to have caused most anger by the powers to be within Council HQ, so much so that Belfast City Council rushed to alert their legal team who subsequently just hours after this picture was captured issued Lennox’s owner with a legal letter threatening action if picture taking and following of their staff did not cease. Following? Yes you heard correct, Belfast City Council accused the Family of following their staff as they left their home and the council dog warden sat at the entrance to the cul-de-sac where Lennox’s owner lives, as if the Family haven’t enough on their plate but to follow warden staff! The occupant of this van sat outside Lennox’s home for a recorded time of twenty two minutes, engine switched off, one foot up on dashboard, cigarette lit, watching the home. On this occasion Lennox’s owner was leaving home to attend a meeting with Lennox’s legal team and again noticed this warden sitting watching the house. After twenty two minutes of observing the Belfast City Council dog warden staff member, Lennox’s owner left her home, in doing so the woman in this van immediately sat up, started the engine, trying not to make eye contact by hiding her face behind her arm as she sped off the kerb, over a speed ramp and out of sight. Knowing she had been pictured there’s no doubt she returned to her superior and gave some sort of cock and bull story about being followed hence the Belfast City Council’s superb reaction time in sending out threatening letters of legal action to Lennox’s owner, just a pity Belfast City Council weren’t as fast to reply to emails, letters and telephone calls regarding Lennox’s condition!

This incident was reported to the Family solicitor. The Council staff member was seen by several people smoking once again in a company van and was reported to Council HQ. The lady on the phone from Belfast City Council who answered the complaint line stated she would have “this serious complaint looked into” not surprising Belfast City Council have never followed up on this and are yet to reply to those that complained about this Council staff member even though the complaint department asked those who called if they “would like a follow up call back regarding their complaint” which all replied “yes”.

Now why did the Belfast City Council get so angered by this photo and none of the others that they would have been aware of? Was it because this time the dog warden in this photo was clearly caught smoking in a company vehicle which is against the law and is something the Belfast City Council like all UK Councils publicly promote stopping? Was it because they know this staff member has done this on many occasions and she clearly is not going about her daily work routine as Belfast City Council like to put it in their threatening legal letter to Lennox’s owner or maybe it was because just several weeks previous a Belfast City Council spokesperson made public through a media article that a dog warden who was involved in the seizure of Lennox back in May 2010 had went on indefinite leave due to the unseen and unconfirmed hate mail she was apparently receiving from some idiotic people claiming to represent the Save Lennox Campaign? Well if the later is the reason you can see why this would have the big wigs in City Hall and Linen Hall Street going red in the face, even now after the big wigs who frequent this site have read this article you can be assured that they will be charging down corridors and running to their big red phones that are hot linked straight to Belfast City Council legal department boasting orders and demanding action.

In review of the matter and not to make light of it, if Belfast City Council dog warden staff are going to continue to intimidate people especially just prior to each court appearance then no matter how many legal threats are received from Belfast City Council’s legal team your staff who do wrong, illegally stalk will be photographed and documented, because you are clearly making the Family in question feel threatened and uneasy in their own home and it shouldn’t be this way, furthermore by sending threatening letters of legal action doesn’t help matters or for that fact Belfast City Council’s already globally tarnished reputation, nonetheless should it continue to happen and as Belfast City Council have already been made aware, the Police will also be informed.

Knowing how Belfast City Council go about things there’s no doubt in the next coming weeks articles will begin popping up from various sources claiming certain Belfast City Council staff are right, have done no wrong and are being attacked and so on and so forth, the public are intelligent regardless what Belfast City Council may think, the public seen through the Councils last ditch attempt to discredit this peaceful campaign with certain statements released to the media by a Council spokesperson’s stating supporters of the Save Lennox Campaign had attacked Council staff homes, this again was unproven and as you are only far too aware the Save Lennox Campaign also released a statement explaining that if anyone had done such hateful activities they weren’t acting for or in the name of Lennox, his Family or the peaceful Save Lennox Campaign calling for his freedom and should the Belfast City Council continue to claim otherwise in an attempt to damage the Save Lennox Campaign and score points then once again the public will see straight through your non factual gibberish. So again please do not insult this campaign, the Family, the people of Northern Ireland or the hundreds of thousands of peaceful supporters and campaigners around the world gazing upon you right now by stating to media that your staff were going about their legal and rightful work duties because for the reasons previously mentioned all can see and know this is untrue. Regarding said attacks, isn’t it quite strange that these unproven attacks were reported in June 2010 by Belfast City Council yet Belfast City Council thought they could win back public support by telling media that the attacks were recent, don’t reuse stories that you have already put out to media just because no-one paid attention the first time you released the exact same stories. If those reported attacks occurred at all, they occurred once in early 2010 which is when Belfast City Council first made them public, not recently, not in 2011, and not just days before each and every court hearing! Surely there is Police records and statements for such attacks? The public can see these stories are being released by Belfast City Council just days before each court hearing as an attempt to discredit and tarnish Lennox’s case, campaign, Family, and the suspicious minds amongst us would say that such stories are also possibly being released again to help sway a courts decision in favor of Belfast City Council, as said the public are intelligent.

Just to set the record straight for the benefit of the Councils head of dog control who continually makes reference to her staff simply carrying out their “legal and rightful duties” as set forth by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and by Government legislation, no-one has ever had any issue with Belfast City Council dog warden staff doing their rightful duties, the problem so many people around the world have with this case is how your staff went about applying their “rightful and legal duties” on the day of May 19th 2010 by their heavy handed approach, use of incorrect documentation, threats and even now continual lies about Lennox and Family members, the way in which this whole case has been handled and not forgetting the fact that Lennox should never have been seized let alone by untrained, unqualified staff or the conditions Lennox is being kept and lets not forget the vast amounts of tax payers money being spent dragging this case and many like it through courts whilst also wasting huge sums of tax payers money paying the fees of certain individuals whose credibility, knowledge, qualification, and previous public statements can only be seriously questioned, it is for these reasons people around the world have taken notice of Belfast City Council and their use of “rightful legal duties”. Finally knowing that Belfast City Council is Northern Ireland’s largest Council yet has quite a small dog warden team and must provide dog warden patrols for the entire greater Belfast area why is it then that this particular dog warden can be going about her rightful daily work duties as Belfast City Council like to announce if she is frequently seen and continually locates herself in her van in the same part of Belfast? Doesn’t greater Belfast extend further than Lennox’s home?

“It’s about time Belfast City Council
stopped helping themselves and
instead began helping the people that
put them in their positions of power.”

To Avoid Revealing Too Much Of This Council Staff Members Identity The Save Lennox Campaign Has Kindly Taken
It Upon Themselves To Censor Out Her Angered Face As She Sped Away In Her Dog Van After Clearly Being Caught Out.

Very Latest Lennox Picture

Today another picture of Lennox was received from a Lennox supporter who shall remain anonymous. The picture again clearly shows Lennox still being caged in filthy surroundings, still surrounded with his own faeces and still being supplied sawdust for bedding which is very unsuitable for his skin condition and very damaging to any dogs respiratory system, you can also see that the sawdust is not only very dirty but also appears very damp.

Belfast City Council was made aware of Lennox’s ongoing treatment for his skin condition on several occasion’s and still they chose to ignore our requests for suitable and safe bedding. Belfast City Council also made public after many emails from supporters that he was being supplied toys so that he would not be stressed, can anyone see any toys in this tiny cage picture? Belfast City Council also stated to many people who sent emails to them that there was a continuous supply of fresh water for Lennox, can anyone see any supply of water or even a bowl of water?

Having studied this picture very closely it appears that Lennox has a large bald patch on his head, how did this happen? It is also very clear in this picture that Lennox has lost a sufficient amount of weight and his coat looks very thin and patchy in areas compared to his glossy coat condition before being taken by a certain dog warden last year. Belfast City Council have remained quiet about Lennox over the year but what they have said to certain people has not only been lies yet again but has further damaged their reputation and lost them much support from the public and this latest picture will only cause much more disgust as it clearly shows a dog being inhumanely caged in filthy surroundings without one of the five DEFRA requirements being met.

What does the Animal Welfare Act do?

It makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

These include the need:

  • For a suitable environment (place to live)
  • For a suitable diet
  • To exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
  • To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease

It is very evident in this secretly taken picture that Lennox is not being provided any of the basic five requirements as set out by DEFRA so no matter what form of spin Belfast City Council put on this, no matter what lies they trundle out with it is undoubtedly clear in this picture, previous pictures and information received over the past year that Lennox and the other 68 dogs being inhumanely caged at this Belfast City Council contracted kennel are not being catered for and Belfast City Council are breaking the very laws and rules set out by DEFRA which Belfast City Council so openly tell everyone they follow very strictly.

Belfast City Council's Secret Internal Email

We all remember just a few weeks ago when Lennox’s owner went to Belfast City Hall to attend a council meeting and we all remember how this lady was treated by the staff within the City Hall, from the sharp tongue and secret whispers of the City Hall receptionist, the over protective jobs worth security guards to the beady evil stare of a certain Health and Environmental department head. We all know that Lennox’s owner went to the City Hall peacefully hoping to speak to councillors and to raise concerns about the dog legislation in Northern Ireland and to also speak about Lennox but the majority of those councillors held their ears and refused to speak or answer questions from the voting public who pay their salaries. Lennox’s owner stood for almost an hour waiting patiently clutching to her walking stick to support herself  without the offer of a chair to sit on from any of the security guards, staff or from the receptionist, none of these brave councillors attempted to come and speak to a gentle well spoken lady simply waiting for a few moments of their time, instead four security staff were ordered to accompany Lennox’s owner everywhere she went, including the Ladies toilet where they stood outside the door waiting for her to return! We all remember why the Belfast City Hall staff behaved like they did, we all know why the majority of councillors ignored Lennox’s owner, it was because of the secret internal email sent to all party leaders and councillors suggesting there would be some sort of public protest at Belfast City Hall and the Health and Environmental head responsible for sending this secret internal email also ordered all councillors not to speak to anyone about Lennox or anyone representing Lennox. The public voted for and pay the salaries for these councillors and yet they take orders from a department head and refuse to speak to the public who granted them their positions within government and council? Such things would never happen in any other democratic country yet it clearly happens in Northern Ireland and within the chambers of Belfast City Hall. At this point I should state that four councillors did take the time to speak to Lennox’s owners and they will also report that Lennox’s owner was indeed a well spoken pleasant and approachable woman that posed no threat in her weak condition to staff or the internal meeting being held within council chambers and the Save Lennox Campaign thanks those four councillors for their time. As for the majority of the other councillors they should be ashamed of themselves especially as many denied any whispers or rumours of secret internal emails doing the rounds within City Hall. Well today again the Save Lennox Campaign Blog can prove the existence of the highly denied secret internal email and as you can see below it isn’t a rumour nor is it a whisper.

Update: A few very helpful people who are Lennox supporters and who are close to certain sources have made suggestions that there is a slightly more harsher second secret internal email that was sent to all parties within the chambers at City Hall and the one below has been edited, I must stress at this point that we are unaware if this to be true and are unwilling to comment on its existence any further but as always we know that only time will tell… as it always has.

Certain elements within this image have
been blocked out for privacy reasons.

Belfast City Council Secret Internal Email

Check Out PoliticsNI For More Further Updated Information On This Revealing Article