Lennox’s Last Chance

As most close observers of Lennox’s case now know, the legal process which had been undertaken in an attempt to return the dog to the Barnes family (his owners) has run its course to no avail. I remain in close contact with the Barnes family and continue to be amazed by their resolve and courage while attempting to save their beloved boy’s life. It is important to understand that every possible legal avenue to release Lennox back to the family has been exhausted, and that result is no longer an option. Indeed, the latest news is that he is scheduled to be euthanized next week. My heart goes out to Craig, Caroline and Brooke for what they are enduring.

Over the past year, I have received many generous and kind-hearted offers from those wishing to help on Lennox’s behalf, and I have ensured that the Barnes family and Lennox’s legal team have been made aware of all of these.

Several months ago, I began working behind the scenes with Lennox’s legal team to begin the process of convincing the court system to allow Lennox to be rehomed in the US – a process which I personally am dedicated to overseeing and facilitating if it is allowed by the court. I have personally received the Barnes family’s approval to take Lennox, and while I can only imagine the heartache they would feel at seeing him go, they have said they would prefer him to have a happy life elsewhere rather than see it end next week. My longstanding private offer to absorb all of the cost and organize all of the travel arrangements to transport him at no expense to the Belfast City Council has been with those responsible for making the final decisions regarding Lennox for some time. Indeed, we are currently awaiting a response to the legal team's request to the BCC to meet with me directly to discuss options. As of this morning, we have not had an official response from the BCC regarding this offer.

I’d like to be clear about something: while I detest Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) and laws such as the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act which are responsible for the incarceration and destruction of dogs like Lennox all over the world, I understand the difficult position municipalities are put in during situations like this. While I do believe that the BCC and court system have made significant errors in the handling and prosecution of Lennox’s case, I do not ever advocate overturning the rule of law and re-writing legislation on the fly as we see how it affects our personal daily lives. We cannot bend and reshape standing laws in our societies any time we don’t like the outcome they provide. Instead, we must refocus our efforts on changing inappropriate and dangerous laws completely from the top down, which is why I’ve been railing against the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act legislation for many years. Lennox’s impending euthanasia is but one of hundreds of examples of how this law unfairly prosecutes perfectly well-adjusted pets while failing to truly protect the public from dangerous dogs – the purported aim of the legislation in the first place. We must not allow Lennox’s and the Barnes family’s ordeal to be in vain – let’s all unite behind a concerted, positive effort to overturn the Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK and other laws just like it currently on the books in countless other parts of the world.

So to the Belfast court system and the BCC, I now publicly give you my word that if you remand custody of Lennox to me and allow me to take him to a safe place in the US, I will not disparage the BCC, the Belfast court system, or those involved with this case in any way moving forward. Indeed, I will publicly recognize the courage that it will take to rise above the divisive voices clamoring on both sides of this issue, follow the law, and yet also show some humanity and allow this dog to live out his final years in peace in the US. I recognize that although I wholeheartedly and passionately disagree with the repeated rulings that found him to be a dangerous dog, once he was found to be guilty, you have little choice but to enforce the law. All I’m asking is that you recognize the special nature of this case and allow him to leave the country – a result which still allows you to uphold the spirit of the law while avoiding the death of what I and many others consider to be an innocent dog and averting an even more damaging end to what has undoubtedly become a public relations nightmare.

I’m in Dublin tonight and will be in Belfast over the weekend and at the beginning of next week to visit with the Barnes family and explore any last-ditch efforts to save Lennox. I’ll post any updates here, and I also encourage you to visit Lennox’s official page.

Click the links below to read other articles from myself and others:
Sarah Fisher’s Lennox Statement
Jim Crosby’s Lennox Statement
Victoria’s Blog



153 Comments

  1. linda wa;sh

    July 6th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    many thanks to you victoria for going over ti ireland to help out in lennoxs case.we all know that you are a very good young lady and that you will do your upmost to try to save lennox....my heart goes out to the barns family at this time.and to young brook.god love and god bless you all.and once again victoria a very big thankyou indeed for all your surpport...and i wish you all the very best ,and good luck..x

  2. nikki

    July 6th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    the world is watching. let lexxon go home

  3. leigh-catherine salway

    July 6th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Keep praying. I sincerely hope compassion and light will reign over this dark and cruel situation.
    Belfast City council, no matter how good their spin or PR will never recover from this.
    I've been brought up around politics all my life due to my mum's and friends being elected members at local council, welsh government, westminster parliament and also some in the House of Lords so I know the game so to speak. Having said that, never in all my days, have I known of anything so outrageous as the seemingly arrogant and complacenct of Belfast City Council in comparison to any other political storm I have ever known of.

    I currently am lobbying for a charity with Marc Abraham the tv vet, called Pupaid due to my contacts in politics.

    I , Like so many others of you here commenting, abhor BSL and know that it will achieve no good with the control of dangerous dogs as it is always "deed not breed".

    Victoria and any others who read this, who act for a charity or indeed against BSL, if you ever need any help lobbying politicians for changes at any level, please contact me as I can do what I say and get meetings.

    At the end of the day, public awareness and education counts, nevertheless, ultimately it is politicians who change the law.

    Also despite what any politician in NI says on Lennox right now, I , because of my knowledge of politics and having done a little research, know this decision can be overturned. The Minister for NI can overrule and grant a pardon as can the Queen .

    The Minister for NI has publicly decried the decision to euthanase Lennox, as I've always felt and known - great politicians are made through their actions not just words.

    Let's hope and pray some action for the right decision is taken in these next few days.

    God bless you all , keep up the fight and faith to end BSL plus save Lennox.

  4. Lynne

    July 6th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    FREE LENNOX PLEASE VICTORIA I FEAR THE WORST FOR HIM HAS ALREADY HAPPENED ..I LUV HIM SO MUCH

  5. Heather

    July 6th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Victoria you make me proud to be British! I hope BCC can find their humanity and do as we all wish for Lennox. Thankyou so much for supporting this cause - you are very well respected and people have to listen to you. Good Luck to you and Lennox. xx

  6. toni

    July 6th, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Victoria,
    I hope and pray that you are successful in your endeavors to save Lennox. It is outrageous that officials can come to your home and just take your dog who has never given any provocation to aggression. The only aggressors here are the officials and they really should be ashamed of themselves. I really hope you can save him!!!!!

    God Bless You,
    Toni

  7. Carolina

    July 6th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I do not understand why? & I do not understand the no-communication on their part?

  8. Cee Cee

    July 6th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Victoria you are doing a wonderful thing It takes a lot of courage to go up against be legal legislation's like the BBC. I wish you so much luck and prayers to get this innocent dog out of this terrible situation;. Thoughts and Prayers to you. Please when you talk to the family again tell them that the world is thinking of them at this time. I can't imagine what they are going through right now stay strong and bring Lennox to the states safely.

    All the best
    Cee Cee

  9. Rachael Hormis

    July 6th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Victoria,
    Thank you for writing such a heartfelt letter. I pray that the Belfast Council has a change of heart in this midnight hour and that God is watching over Lennon and will bring him out of the lions den unscathed like he did with Daniel. Belfast the world is watching your decision closely and if you murder an innocent animal I worry for your very soul. It is not too late to do the right thing. One day each of the members of your council will stand before the ultimate Judge and if you want mercy you have to give it and that includes to animals. I pray you make the merciful decision. If you send Lennox to the US your laws will still be respected and you will gain the admiration and respect of not only your country but the world. Thank you.

  10. Naomi

    July 6th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Victoria, thank you for all you are doing to save Lennox. This is a heartbreaking situation and a senseless one. Lennox and his family should never have been put through this dreadful ordeal by The Belfast City Council. They had no right to rip him away from his loving home and subject him and his family through two years of sorrow and abuse.

    The whole world knows that Lennox is innocent and should be saved and set free. I can't believe that the Council has not yet agreed to rehoming Lennox. I pray that their hearts will soften and they will show compassion and common sense. There is no excuse to end the life of a sweet, well-adjusted dog when the whole world is clamoring for his safety and well-being. God bless you, Victoria, Lennox, his family and everyone fighting and praying for Lennox.

    Save Lennox. Freedom and Life for Lennox.

  11. mqndy ait baha

    July 6th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    this is so so sad im heartbroken and this has had a great impact on my life i pray so hard this can be granted .....im so so sorry if bcc allow the end of lennox life on their head be it....poor caroline

  12. renee and oliver the pittie

    July 6th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I pray Lennox is released to Victoria and of the precious baby is God bless

  13. Lajuana

    July 6th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I cannot stop the tears as I type this or anytime I stop and think about Lennox's ordeal!!!

    Thank you, Victoria, for an elegant, genuine and dignified statement on behalf of Lennox and ALL his supporters!!! My heart was so heavy and saddened yesterday with news of an actual life-ending date. Then, to read this today... you have added hope!

    Thank you for your unconditional support and efforts!!! You are an angel on earth!!!!

    Prayers are lifting for you Lennox!!!! And, to Lennox's family, may God wrap his arms around you in comfort and love!!!

  14. Diane Fretterd

    July 6th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I am praying for Lennox and his family. I'm not a religious person, but I do believe in God. These people on the Belfast Council have no heart if they kill this poor dog. He did nothing wrong! God is watching! Good luck to Victoria and to everyone who is trying to get him out. Kharma can be a bitch. I agree with the person who said that these people will one day have to answer to a Higher Power. My thoughts and prayers go out to Lennox and his family. I feel so helpless. I can't imagine what his family is going through. What a heartbreaking situation.

  15. Maggie Schafer

    July 6th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I will take Lennox. Bring him here - steal him if you have to! This cannot happen! What a ruthless bunch of people to even consider doing this to him!

  16. Laurie

    July 6th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    May "God " bless you, Victoria for your deep compassion and caring heart to help Lennox! I pray so hard for your success in this venture----this innocent dog should not be suffering this way!~ ""Godspeed" and know many, many people go with you in and will be by your side in spirit!!!!! ~~A world of THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!~

  17. Kate Walsh

    July 6th, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you Victoria, I am still hoping and praying for Lennox and his family for good solution. Bless you

  18. Jackie Grimmett

    July 7th, 2012 at 1:27 am

    If DNA tests show his Labrador mix, does "human" law with regards to "where" a person/dog orginates from come into play?
    The British and Irish Government are quick to send "persons" back to their country rather than have the expense of a court case and the outcome of which could cause damage to their credability etc.
    If so, this case surely should be sent to the juristdiction where his bloodline orginates from, ie; the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

    I bet the DNA tests done were not as thorough as this project,
    (kept very quiet, since its EU start date in 2008)
    They can pinpoint everything history wise from the test. Did the courts do this or use the test available anywhere???? http://sciencenordic.com/?dna-reveals-new-picture-dog%3F-origins
    Can the legal team ask for another test at this late stage? To prove the dogs mix? http://www.eurolupa.org/

  19. Jan M

    July 7th, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Thank you, Victoria, for your balanced and heartfelt appeal for the life of Lennox and all that you are doing for him. The world is indeed watching, and it is so clear that a fair solution has been offered to the BCC. I only hope that this group of people may find it in their hearts to make this choice for Lennox and that he will have the same opportunity the Pittsburgh court system agreed to provide for Helo/Nico here in the States (see Helping Helo, on Facebook). Hundreds of individuals fought for the life of this dear dog here in Pittsburgh, and were heard. Please, BCC, grant Lennox his life. I will be praying for him, and for you.

  20. pam wamdless

    July 7th, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I really hope bcc come to their senses + release lennox into the safe + loving arms of victoria so that he can be rehomed. If bcc deny this then the horrific deed must have already been done. May they ROT IN HELL if that's the case

  21. may Howie

    July 7th, 2012 at 5:48 am

    BELFAST please do the honourable thing,free Lennox,let the world know that Northern ireland is a family country and can be trusted after all the years of bad feeling with the religious fighting,if you have killed this dog then it is murder and it will NOT go away people will NOT forget,PLEASE let the dog go home,YOU KNOW THIS DOG IS NOT DANGEROUS,look to your heart

  22. Micheal Moffat

    July 7th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    the blood of all our fellow beings, is crying out for justice
    you can tell a lot about a person or society by the way it treats the beings it doesn't think it has to treat well. silence is acceptance
    life has value beyond measure
    Peace and Love

  23. GRACE NEFF

    July 7th, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    What a misguided way to judge a dog---by the way it looks. There are far better ways to determine if a dog is dangerous. One being if he has attacked someone without justification. Have a heart and let Lennox go.

  24. Jennifer Chatelain

    July 7th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Please allow Victoria to take possession of Lennox and bring him to the USA where he can live out his life! Many eyes are watching this unfold, and it is not too late to show compassion in this case. Please, I beg you, do the right thing- the humanly thing and so not kill this precious living/breathing life. Thank you.

    Jennifer
    Plano, Texas

  25. Brenda

    July 7th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Victoria,
    Thanks you so much for your efforts , I am praying Lennox will be saved and come to the US.You are such a great woman, giving not only a voice to Lennox and his family you are offering a real solution, if the government of Belfast would just listen and be reasonable, I live in Atlanta and know of the work you have done in this community. Many thanks. Brenda
    .

  26. Kim Kipfstuhl

    July 8th, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Congratulations, kristina passey from United Kingdom was the 6500th person to sign your petition: BELFASTCC ALLOW LENNOX TO LIVE WITH THE FUREVER LOVING STILWELL FAMILY. You are now at 100% of your signature goal! This is an enormous accomplishment and we want to thank you so much for inspiring so many people to make a stand for change. Your petition will remain open until Jul 09, 2012, allowing your supporters to continue to speak out to [BELFASTCC]. If BELFASTCC has still not responded to your petition, also consider increasing your signature goal. This will let your supporters know that there is still work to be done. Increase your signature goal here: [http://www.change.org/petitions/belfastcc-allow-lennox-to-live-with-the-furever-loving-stilwell-family/edit]? utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=signature_goal_reached If BELFASTCC has responded to your petition, let your supporters know. Post an update here: [http://www.change.org/petitions/belfastcc-allow-lennox-to-live-with-the-furever-loving-stilwell-family]? utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=signature_goal_reached To close your petition anytime, click here: http://www.change.org/petitions/belfastcc-allow-lennox-to-live-with-the-furever-loving-stilwell-family/edit? utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=signature_goal_reached Congratulations again on this incredible accomplishment! - The Change.org Team ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To edit your petition, post updates, or send messages to supporters, click here: http://www.change.org/petitions/belfastcc-allow-lennox-to-live-with-the-furever-loving-stilwell-family? utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=signature_goal_reached To stop receiving alerts and advice about your petitions, click here: http://www.change.org/account_settings/petition_alert_emails_opt_out? email_id=JDRFJYNFVKXSNPYYVBGS

  27. AMY HAIVOR

    July 8th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Belfast do the righ thing. Relinquish Lennox to Victoria Stillwell.
    If not, think of what his is going to do to your country, all your fame, fortune
    & claim to glory will be in ruins. You will be poverty stricken, people worldwide have joined hands in the fight for Lennox' life.
    We wil boycott the Belfast you will never again have what you have now all because of your HUGE egos and refusal to allow Lennox the freedom of coming to live in the U.S.A..
    Yor own queens daughter has a pit bull that bit numerous times yet her dog lives on. Tell me why. What gies you the right to play GOD?

  28. Ruth

    July 8th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Let the poor dog live in peace with someone who will give him all the love and care he deserves!!

  29. Connie

    July 8th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Victoria - Many thanks to you for your valiant efforts on behalf of Lennox. Clinging to the last shred of hope for a miracle come Monday July 9th. Should Lennox be murdered, you will no doubt be able to hear the sound of hearts breaking from here in the United States, as well as most countries throughout the world. I'm not much on prayers, but I do pray that someone in the BCC awakes in the morning, understanding they have absolutely nothing to lose & everything to gain by simply releasing Lennox to your custody. Godspeed, Victoria. May your efforts prove successful, for Lennox, as well as for misunderstood breeds everywhere.

    Connie W
    Pennsylvania, USA

  30. Mary Maykuth

    July 8th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you for all your efforts...know you will not give up ...cannot even imagine the suffering Lennox and his loved ones have has to ensure because of an inhumane law and uncaring elected officials. ...only hope somewhere somehow some good comes of this ordeal...

  31. Lynnemd

    July 8th, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you, Victoria - many times over.. I just learned of this situation recently and it makes me absolutely sick. I cannot fathom the cruelty of the authorities in Belfast. This family was obeying the rules - yet this dog was seized anyway. I hope that the powers that be ultimately do the right thing. I am so sad for this family - no matter what, for no reason, their pet is gone. You'd like to think that we were in more civilized times.

  32. SImona

    July 9th, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Thanks Victoria for all what you are doing! !!!
    you are a great person :)

    it's really unbelievable, this poor dog has a family and this decision doesn't make sense. I feel so bad and I think of him every day.

    I really hope Lennox can be relocated to the US and that he can found there all the love he needs to forgive us

    fingers crossed

    Simona
    ITALY

  33. Shaere

    July 9th, 2012 at 3:32 am

    I have the horrible feeling that Lennox was killed a long time ago. When was the last time there was hard evidence of him being alive? Why else do they not let anyone see him? Most likely he was killed the day he was taken away.
    On the slim chance he is alive, where is the Animal Liberation Front? Can they steal him and smuggle him to safety?
    And to think I wanted to visit Ireland. Not on my tourist destination list anymore.

  34. Tahoe Leigh

    July 9th, 2012 at 5:08 am

    This is absolutely ridiculous and so unbelievably cruel to both Lennox and his Family. With the eyes of the World watching, surely this can now come to a favourable conclusion, after which I expect a serious revisal of these Crazy Laws where Dogs are concerned. After signing the numerous petitions and also writing to the appropriate Government Authorities in the UK and Ireland, I'm praying for you Lennox!

  35. Sharon

    July 9th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Thank you, Victoria, for so thoroughly explaining the situation from all sides. Not everyone is aware of BSL or how insidiously it has grown, touching the lives of so many good people and their beloved pets. Not everyone is aware of how entrenched the dangerous dog laws are in Great Britain. This case has really put media spotlight on the situation, and hopefully the powers that be in Belfast will allow Lennox to be released into your care, because they have to know of the horrible backlash that will occur if they destroy him. You have offered them a way out that still upholds their ruling, while saving face in the eyes of the public. I truly hope they accept your proposal. I pray that they release Lennox to you.

    I have recently adopted a dog that looks very much like Lennox and can only imagine the agony his owners feel, the anguish their disabled daughter has been experiencing ever since her beloved friend and companion was seized from them, like they were harboring a weapons or drug cache. BSL is horrible and needs to be abolished. How shallow is our society that we judge superficially, instead of on merit and worth? The media helped spawn the hysteria that led to the creation of BSL. Hopefully, as time goes on, and celebrities such as yourself continue to speak out, the damange that was done can be reversed, before entire breeds are completely eradicated. I just hope this action doesn't need a pivotal tragedy, like the death of Lennox, to set off the charge.

    Thank you for being such a strong voice and tireless advocate for those who can't speak for themselves.

  36. Crystalann

    July 9th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you Victoria, for trying to help make a difference with Lennox. I can only imagine the heartache and hurt that both Lennox, his family, and the families of other dogs who are going to be prosecuted can be going through in this time.

    I myself went thru BSL, and as a result, had to put down one of the best dogs Ive ever known. He was ripped from us for NO REASON except for what he looked like. A graduate of puppy and adult courses, he was a dog known by everyone - even the cops did not like the fact that he was being taken from us just because of his breed.

    I hope someday that man's best friend gets some of their loyalty, devotion,and love returned. Because as of yet, man kind does not deserve such faithfullness fom any creature.

  37. Sara Verde

    July 9th, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you for doing what you have done and continue to do to try and help Lennox, this family, and other people and animals affected by this law. It is so very appreciated, and I hope there is at least a somewhat happy ending at the end of this saga. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  38. Victor

    July 9th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Lennox has done nothing wrong and is a loving dog. His home is all set up here in the US, so Belfast, just let him go! He has a wonderful place ready for him here and a great future. All you need to do is let him go. BCC, it’s not yet too late to make it right and the whole world will respect all of you for this. I’m a believer of ‘what goes around comes around’ and it is our hope that you listen to the voices of reason. Look into the human inside of you that knows that letting Lennox go is the right thing to do.

  39. Sune

    July 10th, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Victoria

    as a current owner of an English Bulldog I am so happy to see you take leadership here - If you need
    more opportunities for adoption homes and you believe those two different "bullies" can live together
    our home is open for Lennox - hope the day turns out on the favor of Lennox and his family.
    All my thoughts and wishes goes to them -

    we live in Scandinavia where the rules a somewhat different :-)

    Cheers,

    Sune

  40. Lisa

    July 10th, 2012 at 7:30 am

    It's not too late. Please let Lennox live with another family.

  41. Sarah

    July 10th, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Victoria, you are wonderful.
    There is so much I don't understand about this. Where has Lennox been for the last 2 YEARS?? How has he been treated? What if they are hurting him? What does all that time alone do for a dog mentally?? This is absolutely riciculous! I just really can't believe that this can happen legally.
    I hope and pray that he is ok and has been treated good and has not been tomented from being alone for this long,
    I hope and pray that he is released.

  42. Lexi

    July 10th, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Thank you so much. Thank you for using your knowledge of positive dog training and the fame that it has gotten you to help make this world a better one.

  43. Joann

    July 10th, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    This is heartbreaking!! I am praying so hard there is hope for poor Lennox!



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FROM VICTORIA'S BLOG

Merseyside Police Seize and Kill Legally Exempt Dogs

This is Breed Specific Legislation at its worst and yet another example of innocent dogs being taken away from their owners and euthanised without due process. I support law enforcement in many ways but this kind of policing is barbaric, especially when many of the dogs seized were insured, but were on the death list because of a clerical error.

READ MORE >