Goodbye sweet Lennox

The sad news has been confirmed. We put up a strong fight but Belfast killed Lennox yesterday. The fight changes now to one where we must combat the evil of Breed Specific Legislation wherever it occurs. We must create a universal ‘Lennox’s Law’. This time we will win. Here is my original blog from June:

Well this is my second blog and already I am making a departure from my ‘norm’. I had planned to write a piece on the wonderful Tove Jansson and how she inspired my love of writing for children, but something has happened today that I had to comment on.

Poor, little innocent Lennox has had a death sentence passed on him by the autocrats of Belfast City Council – a mealy mouthed bunch whose hearts are as small as their minds. For those of you who haven’t yet heard the story, Lennox is (or maybe ‘was’) a pit bull terrier much loved by his owner Caroline Barnes and especially her young daughter who never left Lennox’s side. Unfortunately, unforgivably, pet bull terriers are illegal in the United Kingdom and 2 years ago the dog was seized by a Belfast City Council dog warden and ordered to be destroyed.

Caroline Barnes immediately launched a legal battle to save her beloved pet, but after protracted legal wranglings and delayed decision after delayed decision a high court judge today upheld his fate and confirmed that Lennox will be destroyed.

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Now let us make one thing clear – Lennox has never attacked anybody, never threatened anybody. He is (was?) a safe and happy household pet. This is animal fascism whereby unfeeling, uncaring monsters hiding behind the bravado of anonymity decide which animals can live and which can die. A huge Twitter campaign has been begging for Lennox to be returned to his family united by hashtags such as #SaveLennox and #JusticeForLennox .Alas, today it proved to be in vain. A hundred thousand signatures count as nothing against the say so of a dog warden and three Belfast councillors desperately trying to save at least one of their two faces.

And here is the saddest thing of all. As a pet owner, and dog lover, this is what brings a lump to my throat. The family of Lennox will not be told when he is to be killed and will not be allowed to visit him one last time. The poor little girl will never again see the dog that she loves, that she remembers, that has been hidden away from her for two tortuous years. What kind of human can make such a decision? How can it be? When the law shows such cruel inflexibility it has passed over into the arrogance of evil.

So what can we do? I urge everybody to write to the Prime Minister David Cameron and please do sign the petition at http://boycottbelfast.com/ – I will never visit the city again, it doesn’t deserve my or your custom. Please write to, or email, the website http://www.discoverireland.com, currently running an expensive advertising campaign promoting Belfast, and let them know that you will not be visiting Northern Ireland because of the ruling. Here is a unique idea directly from Tortoise Soup: the decision by Judge Girvan and Belfast City Council is junk so let’s send them our junk! I get so much junk mail every day, and when I open a paper it seems that a thousand flyers drop out. Well from now on I am gathering them up and every Saturday (starting this week) I will post them all to Belfast City Council.

Want to join in my ‘Belfast Council is Junk’ campaign? Well why not save up your junk mail too and send it to: Belfast City Council, Donegall Square, Donegall Place, Belfast BT1 5GS. Inside place a single piece of paper saying ‘SAVE LENNOX’. Oh, and don’t forget to put a stamp on or else Belfast City Council will have to pay for it all, and I’m sure that we wouldn’t want that happening. Or would we?

Of course all this is in all likelihood too late to save Lennox and to mend the broken hearts of his family, but I feel that we must do something to keep the memory of this lovely, kind dog alive. REST IN PEACE LENNOX (2005-2-12), MURDERED BY BELFAST CITY COUNCIL.

I am sorry for such a digression from my normal blogs but I feel so strongly about this that I had to have my say, please feel free to leave a comment to show your support too. The usual levity will be resumed later this week, and I leave you with a quote from Tove Jansson that feels very appropriate now. I sign out with a heavy heart and glistening eyes.

“It is still summer, but the summer is no longer alive. It has come to a standstill; nothing withers, and fall is not ready to begin. There are no stars yet, just darkness.” (Tove Jansson)

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