Updated 8 p.m. ET Sunday: A two-year international effort to save Lennox, a Belfast, Northern Ireland, death-row dog whose owners say was mistaken for a pitbull, moves to New York on Monday as protests in his homeland appear to be going nowhere.
An international protest Saturday in Belfast, where the animal is slated to be euthanized this week, according to media reports, included demonstrators who flew in from the U.S., England and Dublin, UTV in Belfast reported.
Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on the Animal Planet network, offered to find Lennox a new home in the United States, all expenses paid, but on Sunday she told msnbc.com her quest went unanswered.
Protesters organized by No Kill New York animal-saving group plan to target British and Irish consulates Monday in New York to prevent the dog's killing.
The Belfast City Council declared Lennox had a severe personality disorder, but his owners, the Barnes family, say he is a well-handled family pet.
The 7-year-old dog was seized in 2010 as a breed banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dog act.
The dog’s owners say he is an American bulldog-Labrador cross, but dog wardens after measuring his legs and snout declared Lennox a “possible pitbull type.”
No complaints had been made against the dog, according to media reports, and the Barnes family has been unable to see the dog.
The Court of Appeal last month rejected a plea spare the dog, being held in a secret location, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
Dog trainer and television presenter Victoria Stilwell
Protesters say theyare trying to raise awareness not only about Lennox but also to show that “breed specific legislation” is unfair.
The dog’s cause also is championed by Stilwell, who traveled to Belfast last week to consult with the Barnes family and with Belfast officials to stop the euthanizing and allow the dog to be brought to a new home in the United States.
“It is important to understand that every possible legal avenue to release Lennox back to the family has been exhausted, and that result is no longer an option,” Stillwell posted on her website. “Indeed, the latest news is that he is scheduled to be euthanized next week. My heart goes out to Craig, Caroline and Brooke [Barnes] for what they are enduring.”
On Sunday, she told msnbc.com in an eamiled statement:
“Despite my repeated public and private requests for a meeting with the Belfast City Council to discuss positive alternatives to the euthanasia of Lennox, they have inexplicably refused to even discuss these possibilities with me, the family or their legal team. Although I’ve previously given the benefit of the doubt about the BCC’s motives, I now fear that their collective decision-making has been clouded by personal and potentially vindictive reasoning while exhibiting an unreasonable obstinance to even exploring positive solutions. I sincerely hope they relent and accept my offer of an all-expenses paid, face-saving rehoming process for this poor dog.”
The Barnes family, in a statement posted on Facebook and the Save Lennox website, earlier wrote, “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.”
A Short Film Dedicated To Lennox The American Bull Dog Cross Wrongfully Seized By Belfast City Dog Wardens On May 19th 2010 And Sentenced To Death Because Of How He Looks.
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