Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Lennox crisis-a report by the Huffington Post

Today I want to thank Joan K. Smith of the Huffington Post for her excellent article on the continuing saga of Lennox, a dog seized and imprisoned for the last two years in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  As I have said before, this case is not longer about Lennox but egos...but instead of hashing out old ground, let me turn you over to Joan....

From the Huffington Post Online, 5/9/2012.  Copyright The Huffington Post. All images rights reserved to The Huffington Post or other owners.

An Outrage in Belfast: The Sad Case of Lennox, the Dog

Posted: 05/09/2012 7:50 pm

Those of us living in what we consider free societies often feel secure that if we comply by laws, pay our taxes, and maintain other civic duties we should not live in fear of government officials entering our homes and disrupting our families.
2012-05-09-lennoxbrookesmall.jpgNot so in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where a tragic situation that is nothing short of Orwellian has played out for over two years. Lennox, a Labrador/American Bulldog mix, was seized from the Barnes family under the U.K.'s "Dangerous Dogs Act" (DDA) and sentenced to death due simply to his physical measurements. Under the DDA, if a dog's measurements are in line with their standard for "pit bull types", the dog can be seized without warrant and sentenced to death (a recent amendment stipulates the that the dog must also be proven dangerous). The DDA assumption that physical traits dictate a dog's behavioral tendencies is contradicted by well known dog experts and virtually every major veterinary, animal control, and emergency medical associations worldwide - all of whom have spoken out against these laws .

It's hard to image a more unlikely target for the law than the Barnes family. Lennox is an American Bulldog/Labrador mix who had never been reported for any act of aggression, and in fact had never exhibited a single sign of misbehavior. He is not only a family pet, but has served as a therapy dog and soulmate for a disabled girl, Brook Barnes, who is now 13. Lennox's family had provided a stable, loving home environment. He had been microchipped, neutered, DNA registered, insured, and even had a valid city-issued dog license. By all accounts, Caroline Barnes, a former veterinary nurse, is a model pet owner.
2012-05-09-lennoxsm.jpgYet on May 19, 2010, the City of Belfast saw fit to turn their world upside down, in the most baffling way imaginable: Two dog wardens (who operate under the auspices of Belfast City Council) came knocking at the Barnes door bearing a warrant with an entirely different address;

The rest of the article can be read here at the Huffington Post: