Lennox, the Belfast "pit bull type" dog, is to be put down. He's an American Bull Dog/Labrador Retriever cross. But, he "looks" like a "pit bull", and his measurements are like a pit bull. So, too bad. He's been impounded for two years. His family has fought for him for two years. Frankly, I wondered if he had been euthanized long before now, but the bureaucracy kept rolling. They didn't even let the family say goodbye. That may have been a blessing; a dog kept in a shelter environment for two years may not be the dog that he was when he went in.
The Lennox case perplexed me. I tried, very hard, to find another side. I wanted to find editorials about how Lennox had been a terror to the neighborhood, a menace, running about off leash taking shots at people. Granted, it's hard to find the story at all. One account says that the animal warden showed up to the family's house, unannounced, measured Lennox's muzzle and body with a measuring tape, and said he was a pit bull and must be euthanized. I mentioned in the final Heidi the Doberman post that Lennox had knocked down a dog warden, but I'm hard pressed to find articles that say that now. It's hard for me to find a dog guilty based on knocking somebody down, of course; he could have jumped up in play, to smell her face, any number of things. I'd like to say "blame the deed, not the breed", but there was no bite here.
Without witnessing an event, it's hard to say what happened, and even then, it isn't always cut and dry. A Huffington Post article does relate that two separate animal behaviorists examined Lennox and thought that he was just fine, behaviorally speaking. Not an aggressive threat.
There have been petitions and boycotts and letters written. People have petitioned that Belfast be skipped along the torch passing route for the summer olympics. The torch was scheduled to pass through on June 6; I don't doubt that it did. Lennox is only a dog, right? I'm sure any number of people outside of Northern Ireland would have been poised to adopt him, whisk him away to a theoretically safer location, where just having a big square head wasn't a death sentence. I wonder if people rethink Labrador ownership?
Lennox had been legally owned and legally registered in Belfast until then; they had even done a DNA test to prove that he was an American Bull Dog (not a banned breed) and a Labrador Retriever (another not banned breed). Since his removal, he was evidently kept in what amounts to a concrete box with sawdust on the floor, seen in photographs that his keepers released. One might assume, since he was a BigScaryMeanDog, that he had no human contact, no play, no toys. For a human, solitary confinement of that sort, for that length of time, might be considered questionable. But Lennox is only a dog, right? One whose fate was pretty much sealed from the moment he left his owner's custody.
For a dog that never bit anybody to be euthanized makes no sense. For a dog who is not suffering from a terminal disease, an irreparable injury, uncontrollable aggression, or neurological condition to be euthanized is sinful. It's a failure of humanity. It makes me sad and sick and I wonder...well, I wonder too much. And it seems that nobody gets answers.