Belfast Telegraph

Birthday cards flood in for Belfast death row dog Lennox

By Amanda Poole

Birthday cards from all over the world have been sent to Belfast’s death row dog, Lennox.

Lennox was seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens in May 2010 after he was noted to be acting aggressively.

In the long-running court case that ensued, Belfast County Court heard Lennox had attacked three people.

Judge Derek Rodgers decided the dog, deemed to be a banned pitbull-type, posed a danger to the public and should be destroyed.

Lennox’s owner, Caroline Barnes, is appealing this decision, saying he has never actually bitten anyone and his life should be spared.

Lennox remains in the care of Belfast City Council at a secret location.

As the dog turned seven years old on April 1, Ms Barnes asked the 127,000 supporters of the Save Lennox campaign to send birthday cards to the Lord Mayor Of Belfast’s office.

A flurry of cards arrived at the Belfast Telegraph and a spokeswoman for Belfast City Council confirmed it had also received a number of cards.

An online statement from the dog’s owners said: “Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the wonderful, beautiful, supportive and very creative messages and artwork received over the past few days.

“Really means a lot and it has touched our family very much. Thank you all.”

Barnes v Belfast City Council has been listed before the Court of Appeal for mention on April 20 and for hearing on May 24.

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Meanwhile, Northern Ireland has become the first place in the UK to introduce compulsory microchips for dogs.

The new law comes into force today.

The Executive hopes the new law will make it easier to identify dogs and thus reduce the number of strays.

The microchips contain a unique number and are implanted into the loose skin between a dog's shoulder blades.

Nicola Poole, a dog warden, said the system would be helpful.

“I think it'll make a big difference to dog wardens,” she said.

“It's another method of trying to track dogs' owners and get them home.

“Dogs' collars and tags can be lost and can be removed.

“The microchip is permanent, so it can be pretty helpful.”

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