The campaigning family who have been fighting to save a pet dog which a judge ordered to be destroyed have finally admitted defeat.
Lennox, deemed by the law to be a pitbull-type dog, will be put down after the Court of Appeal rejected a last-ditch legal bid to save his life last month. Supporters had hoped the marathon legal battle to save the seven-year-old pet would continue.
But in a new statement posted on the Save Lennox Facebook page , the dog’s owners said they could no longer engage in a “battle we simply cannot win”.
The ‘Death Row Dog’ has been detained at a secret location since May 2010, when he was seized by Belfast City Council officials. Lennox was deemed to be a banned American-type pitbull terrier and assessed as a danger to the public.
The case went to the Court of Appeal after lawyers for Lennox’s owner, Caroline Barnes, argued the dog had never attacked anyone and wasn’t dangerous. But three senior judges dismissed the appeal.
The owners said since the ruling they had met with lawyers to “explore all possible options before we issued another statement”.
“We have fought to have Len returned to our family from the moment he was seized but we have been advised that the legal fight is at an end,” they said. “We are obviously distraught but have to consider the impact that any future lengthy legal battle would have on Len if we chose to go against the advice that we have been given.
“We cannot subject him to any more as there are no grounds for a further appeal and we do not wish to prolong his suffering any longer by engaging in a battle that we simply cannot win.”
The lengthy case has made headlines around the world. The high-profile campaign attracted nearly 130,000 people signing a petition calling for him to be returned to his owners.
A protest was held outside Belfast City Hall while some supporters said they had emailed Downing Street calling for the Prime Minister to intervene.
Supporters bombarded the Save Lennox page on Facebook, with 1,000 comments appearing within an hour of the statement.