Lennox, the lab-pitbull mix, euthanized after 2 year fight

by
July 12, 2012
Comments (6)

This morning my twitter feed was loaded with tweets regarding Lennox, a dog who had become the focus of animal welfare advocates around the world in the last several months. He was euthanized due to his genetic makeup this morning. I found out shortly before 10am PST. Lennox was part black lab and part pitbull. In Belfast, pitbull and pitbull mixes are banned. 

According to MSNBC, the Belfast City Council said that despite a massive campaign over the internet, Lennox was deemed an illegal breed and could not go back to his owners. 

 I had been following the buzz about Lennox, a petition was created that gathered over 200,000 signatures, as well as a Facebook page that was liked by at least 100,000 people, and a twitter account named @savelennox that had over 13,000 followers, including well-known celebrities such as Victoria Stillwell and Ceasar Milan, both who openly called for Lennox to be released and breed bans to be lifted. Ceasar Milan even offered to take Lennox and have him become part of his pack.

Lennox had support. People did not want to see him euthanized based solely on his breed. Yes, his owners had broken the law and yes, he was not allowed to live in Northern Ireland, but it was not because he had acted aggressively towards any person or animal, it was because he was simply, the wrong breed mix. 

Backstory

Lennox was seized when he was 5 years old in 2012 and his owner had been fighting for the last 2 years to have him given back to her. Pitbulls and bully type dogs are banned in Britain. She had petitioned, begged, and testified in court that her dog has never bitten anyone. While he had sometimes shown some hostility, he had never bitten or attacked a person.

Lennox, like many dogs, did have a hesitation with new people and would tense up. His owner would muzzle him if he was in an environment that triggered him for his safety and the safety of those around him. Regardless of her efforts, the judgement was set even though in the last 2 years while Lennox lived in a shelter he had not tried to hurt anyone. 
 
Lennox is one of many dogs that have been euthanized solely based on their breed. Pitbulls were once revered as working dogs who made great guard dogs, were military dogs, and easy to train. The pitbull was so respected among the military in the early 20th century that they were used on the propaganda posters of the 1900′s. 

When did the mindset shift? 

I had to do a little hunting to find when the view of pitbulls went from respect to fear and why. In the 1980s, pitbulls began to be the dog of choice among those who participated in dog fighting rings. 

From an article about pitbulls on Ceasar Milan’s website, “It is also the preferred guard dog for drug dealers and gangs, with a hugely publicized attack in 1987 in which a pit bull guarding a marijuana crop in California mauls and kills a two-and-a-half year-old boy.” After this attack, laws began cropping up that banned the breed from some counties, cities, apartment complexes, and states. 

25 years later, the attitude has been shifting and some laws are being overturned. Dog daycares are starting to lift their ban on bully type dogs, apartment complexes are beginning to modify their list of banned breeds, and some places like Florida are working to overturn their ban. However, like any movement, there is always backlash. 

Lennox had become a spokesdog for the pitbull movement. He was a good dog who did not deserve to die. Hopefully, his story  will continue to raise awareness of the prejudice surrounding bully breeds.

Photo from Twoblackdoggies

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6 Responses to “Lennox, the lab-pitbull mix, euthanized after 2 year fight”

  1. Johnny Reb says:

    This very sad especially in Ireland which are suppose to be so religous they fight over it. I’m glad I’m neither Irish or Britsh,

  2. Lori Chittum says:

    I think this is one of the most horrible things that I have read in quite awhile. Too put a dog down based on his makeup is awful. My heart goes out to the owners.

  3. jodi says:

    Stories like these are absolutely heart breaking. I have a pitbull and he is the sweetest dog I’ve ever known. In fact whenever i walk him, I’ve noticed that all the pit bull owners I’ve encountered maintain full control over the behavior of their dogs like being respectful to make their dog sit until a pedestrian passes by. Its really not fair when I see tons of other dogs barking at my dog, going ballistic and my pitbull is trying his best to ignore them. The only thing he does when other people come near is want to play with them. Its funny how the media highlights the vicious stories about pit bulls but doesnt highlight the fact that people are bit every day by crazy, vicious chihuahuas. There are only 3 things that would make my dog want to attack anyone and its this: lack of food, physical abuse and me encouraging violent behavior in him because if anyone knows, pit bulls are loyal and will do anything to please their owners. I’m sure Lennox is missing his owner terribly!

  4. DC Millwater says:

    I find this ‘ilk’ of small minded, uninformed action repugnant in every conceivable manner!
    The main thing that seems to elude ‘the masses’ , is that certain [people] who clearly lack morals, EXPLOIT a breeds certain ‘ability’ or ‘strength.’
    German Shepherds have a keen ability to ‘protect’, that does not make them inherently vicious!
    Rotties are strong and are extremely loyal; This does not mean that they are not to be trusted.
    I have a Border Collie. Yes, they are arguably THE most intelligent dog, but NOT UNLESS I ‘FOSTER’ THAT QUALITY IN HER! She was not ‘born’ knowing how do tricks, understand lists of words and did NOT come from the rescue organization holding a dictionary! [WE] taught her those things knowing she POSSESSED THE ABILITY!!!!
    THE most amazingly gentle (to an art form) dogs I ever had was a pit bull and a very large Rottie/Dobie mix.
    Pit Bulls used to be ‘Nanny Dogs.’ They still have that in them. Dogs are NOT problematic, POOR EXCUSES FOR PEOPLE ARE!

  5. Mary Ann says:

    I have a Lab/Pitbull mix and I would never want anyone to forcefully take him away from me based on his makeup. People judge these breeds based on what some dogs have been made to horribly endure for human entertainment. A dog is the a reflection of it’s owner. This saddens and enrages me.

  6. Lidagal says:

    We had our beautiful, loving, sweet, smiling pitbull-lab mix girl put to sleep two weeks ago at 8 years of age due to osteosarcoma of the front wrist. We found her when she was a puppy along a country road, starved (weighed 13 pounds at 3 months per our vet) but still trusting. She walked into my arms when I called her from a swampy place near a creek and fell asleep in our car in less than five minutes. In all the years we had her, she NEVER ONCE growled, showed her teeth, or tried to do anything to harm anyone. She was in great pain from the tumor which had completely destroyed the bones in her wrist, but still tried to run and play. Our Vet said it was a miracle she could walk let alone run. A thorobred horse at a farm across from us loved her and she loved him, they kissed everyday if he was in his pasture when she went for her two daily walks. I have had dogs all my life and I believe absolutely what others have said – dogs are a gift from God, they guard flocks and families, help find food, and as a bonus, they give unconditional love. Don’t feed them, they still love you, hit them, they come back to give you another chance. Pit Bulls are not bad anymore than all Italians are Al Capone types, or all Germans are like Hitler. Labels are not fair to humans and they are not fair to dogs. We will miss our Ginger forever, and be ever grateful for the time we had with her.

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