Belfast, Northern Ireland – County Court Judge Derek Rodgers upheld the previous decision to order Lennox, the six-year-od American bulldog Labrador cross to be euthanized stating that public safety is the judge’s most important concern.
In a world-wide contentious issue of why one dog has been sentenced to death because his body style resembles a “Pit Bull Type,” has garnered over a hundred thousand people joining in the effort to circulate petitions, write and call Belfast City Council members and Judge Rodgers – all in the hopes of sparing one dog’s life who according to his owner Caroline Barnes is a loving, protective companion who acts as a service dog to her severely physically handicapped child.
Lennox was seized by a dog warden in May 2010 and was ordered to be euthanized according to Ireland’s Dangerous Dog Act of 1997. His owner Caroline Barnes appealed. There were two days of testimony last week, and Judge Rodgers postponed his decision until today.
Judge Rodgers said he was not convinced that Lennox wasn’t a threat and based his decision on testimony from the dog warden and Petter Tallack, a Metropolitan Police dog handler who assessed Lennox as a dog who could attack at any moment.
Caroline Barnes denied all of the prosecution charges, and testified Lennox was a wonderful dog.
According to Judge Rodgers reason for his decision, he stated:
“That purpose is to allow the public and particularly vulnerable members of the public such as children to walk the streets, play in parks, visit friends and even be in their own homes without fear of attack by a dog, particularly a large strong dog of a type bred for fighting.”
In his defense of the Belfast City Council, Judge Rodgers stated if at a later time Lennox ever became involved in an attack on a person, the Council would be held responsible.
Caroline Barnes did not make a statement, but was said to have been too upset. Supporters have 21 days to submit evidence for another appeal.
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