Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Whisper it gently, but we should end trial of Lennox

He is the most famous (some would say infamous) prisoner in the land. But is he the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice? The fate of Lennox the dog, now on death row and - barring a miracle - likely to be put down soon, has captivated people right across the world.

Sadly for Lennox's PR campaign, his mugshot does not do him any great favours.

But he does have his - very vocal - supporters who have waged a tireless battle on his behalf.

In America, the celebrity dog whisperer Cesar Millan (he runs the Dog Psychology Center in LA) has let it be known he believes Lennox can be rehabilitated.

But Lennox has been judged to be a pitbull terrier type dog and assessed as a danger to the public. The courts have ordered that he be put down.

His owners are understandably distraught. Lennox was a much loved pet.

But did that - does that - make him safe?

The dog wardens think not. And these, let's not forget, are people we pay to keep the public safe from attacks like that which left a two-year-old in England horribly maimed in recent days.

It's not an easy or popular role. But for all our sakes, someone has to do it. Yet in this case the wardens have, shamefully, been targeted with shocking abuse from some of Lennox's so-called supporters (not his owners.)

While sympathising with the dog's loving and responsible owners, you have to ask yourself whether you would take the decision to set him free - knowing what the consequences could be.

If Senor Millan does rescue Lennox it would be a happy ending (of sorts) all round.

But without that - after two years in doggie lock-up with his hair coming out in clumps, seemingly from stress - should we really be considering prolonging this poor animal's misery?

Surely Lennox has suffered enough?