The owner of a dog put down last month despite a massive international campaign to save its life has accused a council of holding onto her pet’s ashes.
Lennox, deemed by the highest court in Northern Ireland to be a dangerous pitbull-type terrier, spent nearly two years in the care of Belfast City Council, before a destruction order was carried out on July 11.
The owner, Caroline Barnes, said that nearly a month after her beloved seven-year-old dog was destroyed, the council was withholding the animal’s ashes, collar, lead and muzzle.
Ms Barnes yesterday wrote to the council asking for Lennox’s ashes and the other items to be returned.
“Under the court’s ruling regarding the seizure and killing of my dog Lennox the court gave no such ruling as to the ‘custody’ of my dog’s remains or my possessions — his collar, lead and muzzle,” Ms Barnes said.
“It is very clear that you wish to prolong the hurt you have already caused my family.”
In response, a Belfast City Council spokeswoman said: “The council confirmed to Ms Barnes’ solicitor on July 18, that the collar, lead and muzzle were no longer held by the council.
“In relation to the ashes, the council confirmed to Ms Barnes’ solicitor that the ashes could be released to Ms Barnes a number of weeks ago. The council are still awaiting a response.”
Lennox was seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens in May 2010. Belfast County Court decided the dog, deemed to be a banned pitbull type, posed a danger to the public and should be destroyed. The Save Lennox campaign co-ordinated by the dog’s owner, Caroline Barnes, attracted 130,000 supporters worldwide.