Lennox, the seven-year-old dog who captured the hearts and attention of the world, has been put to sleep by city officials in Belfast, Ireland. Lennox was seized from his owners in April 2010, sparking a two-year legal battle and animal rights protests across the world.
City officials classified Lennox as a "pit bull-type," deeming him a public danger. However his owner Caroline Barnes argued that Lennox was a Bulldog/Labrador mix -- pointing out that he'd never bitten anyone and didn't pose any risks. Additionally, instead of being put down -- she proposed that he could be adopted outside of Northern Ireland.
A subsequent "Save Lennox" social media campaign emerged online as Barnes fought for her pup in court.
Sadly, however, the deadline for legal appeals expired and Lennox was put down on Wednesday, July 11th.
In a statement, Belfast City Council said: "Belfast City Council confirmed today that the dog Lennox, an illegal pit-bull terrier type, has been humanely put to sleep. This was in accordance with the Order of the County Court which was affirmed by the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal. Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety."
Before Lennox's tragic death, Barnes wrote on Facebook, "We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all again for your messages of support. We are sorry to say at the present time Belfast city council seem to be intent on killing our boy. Despite previous assurances otherwise, we have been denied the opportunity to say goodbye. We have also been told that we cannot collect his body and bring Len home. We have been informed however that we will receive 'some' ashes in the mail."
Highlights during the battle for Lennox's life included protests organized outside the British Consulate in New York to call for a reprieve, while nearly 200,000 people appealed to Belfast City Council, which impounded the dog.
Celebrities including TV dog trainer Victoria Stilwell and singer Rob Thomas took up his cause -- with Thomas expressing the sentiments that most of those who heard the story of Lennox were feeling: "I'm horrified at the injustice done to Lennox by Belfast."
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