Victoria Rebukes BCC Representative on the Radio

Victoria joined host Wendy Austin on BBC Radio Ulster and sparred with Pat McCarthy, the head of Belfast City Council's (BCC) Environmental Health Committee, just hours after the BCC destroyed Lennox, an American Bulldog/Labrador mix with no history of aggression or behavior issues. The dog was confiscated 2 years ago due not to his aggressive nature, but rather simply because his bodily dimensions fit the profile of supposedly dangerous dogs under Northern Ireland's breed-specific legislation (BSL). Despite pleas from millions around the world, Victoria's offer to rehome Lennox outside the UK, and personal intervention from Northern Ireland's First Minister, the BCC insisted on euthanizing this dog, claiming that they were merely following the law, although they fought tooth and nail to achieve the flawed ruling in the first place.

Listen to the exchange here:


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  • http://www.lovealwaysbear.com Bear

    Thank you so much Victoria for all you have done. You are a really wonderful person. BearHUG!

  • Glynis

    I agree with people who believe Lennox died of abuse and neglect a long time before the BCC made the announcment.. I call on all UK/GB citizens to request full detals if Lennx's case under the Freedom of Information Act, which we are entitled to do

  • Lisa Wiktor

    Sorry Victoria, I know I already commented a few days ago. I hope you don't mind me repeating this quote:

    "The Greatness of a Nation and its Moral Progress can be Judged by the way its Animals are treated" Mahatma Gandhi

    BCC and Ms Lightfoot I wonder what Mahatma Gandhi would think of the the way you handled yourselves in regards to Lennox and his family.

  • Joe Forgette

    What is mind boggling to me; as it shows that the BCC really doesnt get it and understand the heartbreak they have caused and the consequences they will be facing for their actions.

    Please find below what they have on their Website...

    Belfast City Hall has reopened
    The security alert at Belfast City Hall is now over and services are returning to normal

    Wake up BCC; the peoiple you serve arent listening to you; you serve yourself. And by the way....things are not normal; not even close to normal.

    It shows in the purest way who and what you are....what a terriblle and wrong message. Thats the best message you can come up with; again, anoother lie.

  • DR. HEINZ DOOFENSHMIRTZ.

    i think belfast is hiding something here. i mean, they weren't taking offers by victoria, cesar (lol sorry for mentioning but he was part of it!!), or ANYONE that was trying to help, and they KNEW there was a sanctuary he could have gone to, and they were just basically ignoring everything. i think they killled him MONTHS before, they just didn't want to say anything. i mean, the whole thing just seems fishy to me. but, belfast, BCC, and whatever else was involved in the killing of lennox, are just a bunch of idiots and liars. a dog taken away from his family simplay because of the way he looked.. shame, shame. oh, and also, they wouldn't let the little girl have lennox's collar. that just SCREAMS "WE KILLED HIM MONTHS AGO!!" if they did, they destroyed the collar too. anyway, very sad and maddening!!! =( but, he's in a better place now. RUN FREE AT RAINBOW BRIDGE, LENNOX!! ♥♥

  • Jackie McFadden

    LENNOX INVESTIGATION
    Below is the response from my request to the ombudsman for an investigation into the Lennox matter with BCC. This is total BS. It seems that the only people who can request an investigation are the Barnes family. Everyone is out to cover everyone else's backside.

    Our Ref: 13461 17 July 2012

    Dear Jackie McFadden

    THE COMMISSIONER FOR COMPLAINTS (NI) ORDER 1996

    Thank you for your email dated 13th July 2012, which the Commissioner received on 16th July 2012, in regards to Belfast City Council and the Lennox case.

    The Commissioner can investigate complaints from those who think they have suffered a personal injustice through maladministration by bodies such as the Belfast City Council. However, I should point out that the term “aggrieved person” in the Commissioner for Complaints (NI) Order 1996 has consistently been interpreted as an individual who is aggrieved as the result of a direct personal and substantial interaction with the public body concerned. Essentially the administrative handling of that individual’s personal business with the public body is what is to be considered. You cannot therefore be held to be an aggrieved person as you are not directly affected by the council’s actions in this matter.

    Furthermore, under the above Order a complaint shall not be accepted by the Commissioner "unless made by the person aggrieved himself'. The Order makes an exception to this only where the person aggrieved "has died" or "is for any reason unable to act for himself', in which case "a complaint may be made by his personal representative or by a member of his family or other individual suitable to represent him". The email which was received by the Commissioner appears to contain no evidence to suggest that an exception can be made under the Order in this instance.

    Therefore, in these circumstances, the Commissioner can take no further action on your email.

    I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful on this occasion.

    Yours sincerely

    Alan Barbour
    Complaints Advisor

  • Joe Forgette

    Wow!!....Latest News. This could be the beginning of the end of the BCC in a expedited fashion.

    Makes me Sick....

    Informant: Lennox Died Months Ago At Hands Of BCC
    By North Country Gazette On July 17, 2012 · Leave a Comment

    © By June Maxam

    BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND—The host of an internet radio show says she has been given information by an unidentified informant that Lennox, a dog which became the center of an international effort to save his life, died months ago while in captivity in the hands of the Belfast City Council.

    Dr. Leigh Foster, Leigh Foster creator and host of The Pawz Cauze Show, says that the informant has told her that Lennox was found dead in his kennel months ago.

    The BCC had rejected all efforts to save the dog after his family declined to appeal his case to the Supreme Court in London after their final appeal had been denied on June 12.

    The BCC issued a statement on July 11, claiming that the dog had been killed that day because it was a “dangerous dog”. http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2012/07/11/belfast_kills/

    http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2012/07/13/lennox_lives_on/

    The family’s request to say goodbye to their beloved Len was heartlessly denied.

    There are looming questions if Lennox was still alive as of the day before Lennox’s confirmed death as the BCC has steadfastly refused to offer any proof of his existence. They had steadfastly refused the family’s request for their own vet to examine Lennox after it was learned that the dog appeared to have been mistreated while in the care of the BCC, with sores on his neck and foot, hair falling out in clumps due to stress and depression. He was reportedly being medicated for the stress.

    The government refused the family’s request to receive his body and have said the family might receive “some” of his ashes. They refused to return his collar to the family.

    Foster’s posting read:

    “ok, I have been sitting on some information given to me by an unidentified informant. I don’t know if it is true but it would explain A LOT about this case. If it is true, you all will be furious as I, but if not, then that means we can’t trust anything that comes out of Northern Ireland/UK. Here it goes:

    “I was contacted shortly after I ended the show early in the morning on the 11th. The informant gave me information that I don’t know if it is the truth but I am releasing to you and hopefully we can get to the bottom of the truth. Please know that this is not from ME, I am just the messenger. This person stated that the shelter who kept Lennox hidden from the world went into his kennel one morning to give him his medication for kennel stress, food, and water. The informant stated that Lennox was found dead and the shelter panicked. They supposedly contacted BCC to see what they should do and they were told to have the body cremated immediately and to destroy the collar, clean the kennel and remove all evidence that Lennox was even there. This supposedly took place several months prior to the last court date. The informant stated that BCC told the judge and that is why the judge upheld the other rulings. According to the informant, BCC never thought that this case would cause such an uproar and by the time it did, they feared what would happen if they openly admitted that Lennox was dead already.

    “IF this is in fact the truth, it would explain a lot! Why no one was able to see him, why the family could not have the body back and why the collar is missing. The saddest fact of all is that we have no proof that this is a true statement because all evidence was destroyed. The only way we will know the truth is if the informant identifies him or herself and if the shelter has a strike of conscious and speaks out. It also explains why everyone who was supposed to be able to grant amnesty were unable to thus passing the callers and public around to other people causing confusion and heightened anger.

    “So there you have it. This is all I know and I have no idea who the person was. Sorry I can’t give you any more information. Know that I back you all up in this fight to know the truth. We owe it to the Barnes family and BCC owes it to the world to tell us what actually happened toLennox.”

    The dog had been held in captivity and seclusion for over two years, seized from his home in May 2010 by Belfast dog wardens in an egregious abuse of power.

    Initially there was no claim that the docile family pet was aggressive but as public sentiment grew against the BCC, they began to fabricate claims that he was a dangerous dog and ultimately the court decision that led to his death said he must be put down because he had teeth and therefore was a threat to public safety because someday he might bite someone although he had never done so before and had never shown any propensity to do so.

    First Minister Peter Robinson had asked the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O’Neill to review the matter “with urgency” and had asked the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Gavin Robinson, not to execute Lennox but rather to allow him to be rehomed in the United States, to accept the longstanding offer of dog expert Victoria Stilwell.

    O’Neill never publicly addressed the issue although that is her responsibility. The Lord Mayor of Belfast said nothing, the Queen was busy modeling track suits for the Olympics.

    The BCC refused to meet with Stilwell, refused to even grant her the courtesy of a response. The 51 councilors that comprise the BCC, while elected by the people, clearly do not represent the wishes of the people, an issue that is likely to be addressed in the next election. 7-17-12

  • Larry

    I'm so sick of that Gandhi quote. I suppose America is a barbaric country because we kill millions if cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and fish for meat? Or are dogs the only animals you care about? Anyone who spouts that Gandhi quote had better be a hard line vegan.

  • Dennis

    This makes me so angry in so many ways. A poor dog who did nothing wrong is dead and a family is in deep pain. A little more darkness and despair was introduced to this world that had enough of both already. All because a Council of self-righteous men and women willed it so and ignored all alternatives. And what makes me even sicker are those haters who try to tell me/us to get over it or even imply that our outrage is some sort of mental illness that shows that we prefer dogs over humans. If I have learned one thing during my time here it is that most people I admire have a deep respect for all things living, especially dogs. There is a special bond between us and those four-legged furry fellas. When you love a dog he loves you back. When you treat him well he will treat you like a god. I can't even begin to understand how anyone with a heart could do this to such a creature. Lock him up. Subject him to cruel "assessments". All this dog knew was that one day he was around people who loved him and the other he was alone, scared and surrounded by people who ultimately wanted only one thing: Him dead. And no one could explain to him why all the people he loved, his pack, were gone. How are we, as a species, supposed to go anywhere, spiritually, if we are too complacent and/or ignorant to stand up for one creature in pain? Quite frankly - if we can't get this one right I don't think we are worth saving ourselves. Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on my species yet (like the late, great George Carlin obviously has in the twilight of his life) but I think these are the defining moments. Are we willing and able to stand up for just one creature in pain or not? I like to believe that we are and people like Victory show the possibility of hope. As far as I am concerned pain is pain and he who willingly brings it is evil. I mourn for Lennox and I will do what little I can to make sure that Lennox has not died in vain. What I have done so far? I sent an open letter to the BCC (which is also on display on my personal blog), another to Channel4 in the hope that they will start an investigation, I signed two petitions and I sent a letter to a celebrity who is known to support animal rights. Is there more I can do? Certainly. It is most important that people don’t stop talking about this case, no matter who much the haters want us to shut up. The truth will come out eventually and those responsible will have to answer for their crimes.

  • Chris

    Please do not harass BCC or seek to discredit the good work that BCC delivers. The re are different opinions about how to handle dangerous dog breeds and BCC has done its best to seek to protect the public, particularly vulnerable children, from the risks posed by dangerous breeds. These tough decisions will probably never please everybody but it is solely a matter for the people of Belfast.

  • Hilton

    It's been proven Chiwawas is the number one breed for turning on it's owner. Sorry chris I agree with the majority, BCC are run by a bunch of uneducated creeps. They are ruthless racist power mungers who bask in control. People like this have no business being on counsel. they don't think they have to answer to the public or to anyone. Thank god we don't have them in my area!

  • alex

    To Chris. I was scared of dogs til I was 28. I used to cross the road if I saw a stray labrador but then my brother got a puppy fron a pet shop. One that he wanted to return a few days later. I didnt feel right about it and adoptrd it. Three dogs later (the last a bully mix) and 20 years i thank god i got that puppy

  • Lisa

    Seize and kill , ask questions later! My greatest fear for my own dog who somebody so irresponsibly ,publicly labeled a wolf!! Fortunately I had all the documents to prove otherwise .None the less , the stress this situation caused me ,made me very Ill ,ruined a 20 year marriage and caused stress on my dog, my family and me.I feel deeply for the family of Lennox and what they had to endure. Such a shame. You can only hope the people involved will take ownership for their actions and one day apologize to the family. I still am waiting patiently for my apology!

  • Too

    Pat McCarthy should not have been released into society......

  • viviana

    pat mccarthy listening to u makes me sick and angry. u don't give a dam about dogs u r no animal lover. they should use bsl on u and all bcc. horrible people. Lennox had a chance to live and u did not take it into consideration. he was aggressive so would any human if they are put in a cell without reason and without seeing family. why notput bcc in a celll for 2 years with no love and no family visits ,and if they become agggressive put them down could b dangerous to society. pat mccarthy u and all bcc r monsters.

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