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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566 thoughts on “Victoria Rebukes BCC Representative on the Radio

  1. Jennifer Garcia

    It breaks my heart and disgusts me that in this long two year battle in and out of court, there was not one decent, unconscionable person in the BCC to stand up for what was right, to take the suffering of this family and of course Lennox into deep consideration and let him go home!!! They knew they were wrong, they just did not want to admit that to millions of people around the world. Instead they hid behind their titles and signed the death warrant of an animal that never evoked harm to anyone!! What's the lesson here?? It's ok to judge a book by its cover?? I cant imagine what this poor animal was feeling day in and day out for two years, isolated, neglected, unloved.... If he only knew how many people came together for him!!! Its a story that will be told for many years to come. This isnt the end... the fight must continue so no other animals suffer the way Lennox did!!!

  2. Katja Conrad

    Hiding behind a law reminds me of a time around 70 years ago in Germany - these people were also just hiding behind laws and orders... "When The Law Is Wrong, The Right Thing To Do Is Break It" (Steve Best)

  3. George Hughes

    What a bunch of insensitive , inhumane idiots ! Makes me ashamed that I'm of Irish ancestory .

  4. Pingback: Thousands mourn execution of Belfast dog Lennox after years of efforts to save him fail - Greener Ideal

  5. Kerry White

    I hope the lying warden is brought to justice and at the very least, loses her job. I don't know how any of them can sleep at night knowing that they could have saved Lennox instead of murdering him. Shame on you BCC. My sympathy goes to the Barnes family, you tried so hard to have your Lennox back with you but it wasn't to be because of the heartless BCC.

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  7. Charlie

    Pat McCarthy gave no answers, Pat McCarthy ducked every question that needed an answer, choosing instead to hide behind the fact that it was the court ruling and "what were they to do" - I'll tell you what you were supposed to do McCarthy - you was supposed to not return Lennox to his family (sadly) as the court ruled that, however, you could have considered Victoria's proposal to save Lennox's life, to allow him to live out his days in peace, surrounded by fresh air and love. But no, that would have meant, admitting you was wrong, because I will bet money on the fact, that if he had been taken by Victoria we would all very soon have seen the lies that you, your dog wardens and you "expert" spun to chuck a massive FU to the Barnes family and their supporters.
    I will be emailing Dispatches - because I agree sadly with a number of posts on here - I don't think Lennox was even alive this Wednesday - I think he had already sadly died from 2 years of systematic abuse for BCC, coupled with a broken heart. I want this investigated - I don't want it to end, the suspicion is too great, that the family couldn't even say goodbye, or see him after the deed - to bring his body home. Or, even more strange why won't BCC even return his collar?? BCC need to be investigated and then prosecuted - and I will tell you what, there will be no supporters fighting for them - only people cheering.

  8. Cheryl

    Someone, or several people at BCC, know the truth. That person/people break your silence and do the right thing. You will be a hero in the worlds eyes for having the guts to speak out.

    Please, somebody, do the right thing.

    RIP baby, you wont be forgotten.

  9. Donna

    Im appalled by this, I truly believe he had already been put to sleep, and they are hiding behind the law, because they couldn't back out if he was already gone.Why else would they not allow his owners one last chance to visit him, to say good bye,take his collar and bring his body home.
    They had so many opportunities and offers by educated people, to take Lennox and let him live out his days in a caring understanding home, with no expense to them, but they chose not to, they are IMHO just discusting and inhuman

  10. Nancy Ingram

    Pat McCarthy did nothing but skirt around the issue!! These are the people that made this horrible decision???

    That answered my question they never had anyone qualified to make a decision on his personality! They were wrong and they know it!!

  11. Neil

    It says an awful lot when there is not one reply here that supports BCC and their warped decision.

    BCC you just got yourselves hated worldwide.. Congratulations on making yourselves, & unfortunately by implication the good people of Belfast, look like a a bunch of heartless imbeciles.

  12. Jack Dumphy

    Thank you so much, Victoria! ...but it sounds like you would talk to a concrete wall. These rules and law was made by concrete heads anyway. It is so sad, that things like this

  13. Flic

    Victoria as always you came across as professional and knowledgeable. That man's argument was absolute rubbish!! You were dead right they had no interest in doing the right thing, they just wanted to win at any cost and sadly Lennox paid the ultimate cost. I hope and pray that this does lead to a change from BSL to DSL. You have my utmost respect for everything you have done and tried to do for Lennox xx

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  15. susan

    Thank You Victoria for all you have done. This shocking event has raised awareness of the horrors of BSL and the ongoing abuse of companion animals in Government "shelters" throughout the world. In memory of Lennox let this be the final straw that unites the world in the fight against BSL and animal abuse.

  16. Deedee D.

    I'm starting to agree with a lot of people in that Lennox must've been killed when no one knew about it prior. That's got to be why the family didn't get to say goodbye, didn't get his body, didn't get his collar. How can this be in secrecy? In the U.S., you must have a qualified vet to euthanize a dog. Wasn't there a vet who euthanized Lennox? And why all the hullabaloo about releasing Council members' names? Aren't they public officials? Our council members are listed right on the town and county websites in the U.S. Something smells very, very bad in Belfast!!

  17. Heather

    Pat McCarthy should be sacked for gross incompetence along with the Belfast City Dog warden Sandie Lightfoot who lied under oath. in the Videos that are doing the rounds you can hear the expert state that Lennox is not a dangerous dog. Lennox was a happy family pet when he was taken from his home, after 2 years in solitary confinement god know what damage that might have done him but as he had the chance of life in America why wasnt he allowed to go. Please dont forget too that Lennox was the companion of a disabled child, and her loving parents the Barnes family arent stupid enough to have put their beoved daughter in harms way by having a dangerous dog near her.
    Nothing Pat McCarthy said makes any sense, he has bloodon his hands just like all the rest involved. Belfast City Council wanted to kill this dog - their minds where made up long ago and instead of doing the right thing and letting him go to America they killed him and they wouldn't be see to back down. I for one will be writing and asking for a full inquiry into everything that has happened and I would like Belfast City Council to justify the cost - approx £60,000 of rates payers money to take this to court. That is not an acceptable way to spend Rate payers money!
    I would also like to know why First Minister Peter Robinson stayed quiet on this until the very end then jumped onto the PR bandwagon for his sound byte. I for one wrote to you several times over the last 2 years - and emailed Belfast City Hall and councillors an never once even received and acknowledgement let alone a reply!
    RIP Lennox - you will never be forgotton and in your name we must end BSL.

  18. susan

    he "understands" how people feel because "he has a dog" WT_
    Things don't make sense here there has to be a full investigation. I hope BCC meets a terrible end and are shown no mercy - since they have proven that they are not capable of any.

  19. Jackie

    Pat McCarthy is an abuser of animals. Any member of the public would be prosecuted for what he did to the defenceless and innocent Lennox and his family. He should be sacked pronto.

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  21. Diane Spencer

    I am a Canadian who has been following Lennox's case and, like many others, I'm beginning to think that Lennox might have passed away, probably due to inhumane treatment and pining for his family, long before his euthanization was announced to the press. Why else would the BCC not release his body for burial or even his collar, as a keepsake, to his 'family'. I can't think of a single, rational reason! It just does NOT make sense. Mind you, BSL does not make sense either!!!

    Good on you, First Minister - a voice of reason amidst squeaking rodents. Why is it so easy for some people to see clearly while others, like lemmings, just follow each other blindly over cliffs - never asking why, never thinking for themselves?

  22. Marino396

    God bless Victoria for trying to save this dog and then sparring verbally with the BCC, what happened to Lennox will go down in history as a tragedy that was initiated by a conspiracy, I agree that somebody will tell all and tell all soon, you can't keep this dark secret tied up in your heart because you know it is wrong, and watching that liar, no, actually that pathological liar Alexandra , who was videos with that sweet dog playing and trying to lick her face, may she rot in bedsores without any friend in the world and may her caregiver betray her as she betrayed Lennox.
    My dreams of visiting Ireland have been permanently changed, though I know the people were not at fault but the BCC AKA bastardly, cowardly council are the one complicity in this evil act.
    To the person that leaked that video showing the lies, may God and StLazarus bless and protect you,
    To the beautiful inside and out Victoria, you are an Angel!

  23. Nicole

    DEED NOT BREED !! BCC you make me sick & you talk a pack of lie's & no wonder a dog acted not its self when kept in a dump away from its owners in a strange place with no one to love it.... you are a disgrace, shame on you Pat Mc Carthy Call yourself a dog owner, your a joke, i hope your pay paket is big enough & that you can sleep at night... & how can he say he's a dog owner & use the word "DESTROY" ??? JOKER

  24. MizKatz

    Shame on these people. Did this dog ever attack or bite anyone? These people need to stop breed profiling. If the dog attacked or bit anyone, then that is a problem. But I have not read ANYWHERE that this poor dog bothered or attacked anyone.

    The Belfast City Council has blood on its hands. Who was the Council’s so called expert who described the dog as "one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across” and what are this person's credentials for such an assessment. Very cowardly of the media to not mention this expert by name. Moreover, what specifically had poor Lennox done to be assessed in such a manner? Truly, this so-called expert in serious need of re-education.

    What is particularly galling is (a) the owners were totally responsible, did everything right; (b) Ms. Stillwell is reported to have offered at her own expense to have the dog re-homed out of Ireland...not enough. The Belfast City Council blood lust is too strong. I hope ALL associated with this animal cruelty will be haunted to the end of their days by this mindless cruelty to Lennox, and especially to the family who loved and cared for him.

  25. Lady Lee, who loves dogs!

    I'd just like thank Victoira for speaking on behalf of Lennox and the Barnes family and especially highlighting the events that occurred.

    I think along with many other people that this poor dog had already died, otherwise why else would BCC be so hell bent on denying any wish from the Barnes family or Victoria?

    From all the messsages on Facebook, it's certain that people all around the world want answers. BCC should be investigated. I am appalled by the whole situation and how they've handled the situation, they showed no empathy or compassion.

    Also until this radio show, I didn't realise that the person who'd assessed Lennox wasn't a behaviourist?
    Surely a QUALIFIED person should have made the decision to have Lonnox destroyed. Again, it points to the fact that Lennox was already dead - why else would they deny?

    I've just seen the video posted on Facebook - I'm no expert, but my old terrier, was more aggressive than Lennox!

    I, along with many others are more determined to ensure that BCC are investigated! We all need answers.

    The fight isn't over BCC - it's only just begun!

  26. Cristina

    Victoria, were wonderful. I really admire you. Great job putting him in his place. He sounded like an idiot.

  27. Donna Swain

    This is truly a sad situation and one that should have never happened.But instead now of everyone venting about something that we no longer have any control over let us now focus on something else for the memory of Lennox.Here is the USA there are 1000s of bully breeds that are being put to death in shelters everyday.because of the BSL.There are shelters that will not let people adopt unless the dog has gone through a certified rescue.I can understand the need for this though as there are people out there that wish to use as bait dogs and etc.

    How about now every one focus on getting laws changed in our own country.If you want to remember LENNOX this is the way to do it.Go to the towns and states that have these laws and work with the groups that are trying to repel this law. Miami ,Fl is now on a crusade to stop the BSl.There are other states as well Look in your own state and see the laws and if it is BS work to change that law.This is where our focus should be now.

  28. Kieli

    I love how McCarthy tries to sound compassionate but all of the answers sounded very practiced and automatic. BCC knows what they did and it was wrong. Not even people are prosecuted this harshly. More often than not, even inmates are just given a slap on the wrist, told not to do it again and fined. If there were so many options, ESPECIALLY the fact that there was the option to go to a SANCTUARY. A place where if he really was "dangerous" then that could be rectified. But I don't even believe he was a bad dog. Judge the deed not the breed. There is no such thing as a bad dog only bad people. The members of the BCC are those bad people in this case because I believe they condemned without trial. And because Lennox was not human, they felt they could do whatever they want. I really hope the law is changed because that is a bad law. It's racial profiling at most and unjust to everyone. Animals do not have a voice, we do. So do not punish the ones that can't defend themselves. Find the problem and fix it. I don't know how the laws work in Belfast but I do hope something will be done to change them. Nothing is ever set in stone so give animals a chance.

    And a huge thank you to Victoria. Let's all keep working together to get things right!

  29. John

    You can tell by the way that Pat McCarthy was skirting the questions that he KNOWS for a fact that he and the BCC were wrong for what they have done. Like others, I agree, Lennox was MURDERED before his the appeal process was complete. Why else would they not allow the family to see Lennox or collect his remains intact?

    Belfast, you will regret the day that you stole Lennox from his family.

    Northern Ireland, Belfast and especially those on the BCC, will pay for this, in one fashion or another. One day you will meet your maker, and I am sure at that time you will have to explain why you did this to Lennox.

    To the citizens in Belfast - You need to stand up and demand an impartial investigation in to what happened. If they are going to do something like this to Lennox, think of what games they will play with you, when they want to target you.

    End BSL Worldwide.

  30. Wendy

    Pat McCarthy sat and lied through his Irish teeth and the dog warden that told these lies should. Be hanging her lying head in shame we have seen videos of Lennox with the dog behaviourists and Her and the dog was licking her face with his paw on her knee and she still lied and they chose to believe someone who wasn't even a qualified dog behaviourist lennox was Murdered by BCC and they need to start and tell the truth I'm appalled that this could happen nobody's dog is safe in Ireland if this is going to happen because someone doesn't like the look of a dog

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  32. Rogerio Serrao

    I can recognize, that BCC representative, type of answers anywhere. Several words answering nothing whatsoever. Devious responses is what i can see from his words.

    Why couldnt the owners see theyre pet one last time? Why wasnt the body delivered to its owners? Very phishy behaviour from BCC.

    People, be carefull, someday it will be your children the ones to be seized by BCC, with the excuse of being potencially dangerous.

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  34. Annamaria Boscarino

    All I can write at this stage is SHAME ON YOU BCC! Something's not clear here at all! WHY wasn't Lennox's family allowed to see him before and/or after his death?
    An Italian citizen who believes gogs and animals in general are not objects!!!

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  37. tropicalbreeze1998

    paul is the biggest lyer i have ever seen or heard. AND he admitted he has killed his own dogs. how heartbreaking that must have been to his own children. if i was his kids i would never acknowledge the fact i was related to such a person. there is nothing positive about this man. he is the true one responsible for Lennox being killed. he alone has not only gotten Lennox's blood on his hands he is playing in it.
    When the truth does come out, and paul, you can bet it will, you wont even be able to sell newspapers to make a living. im sure the good people of belfast hate you. and now that you brought such shame to the city council im sure they hate you. how many of them get up and walk away when you show up. how many people stop talking when you show up. just sit and stare at the weasel that you are.
    The world knows you paul. we know the type person you are. and your NO MAN! your just a sniveling wimp who did this to a helpless animal to try to make yourself look big. the only thing big about you is your nose. and its growing and growing with every lie you tell.
    How does it feel, paul, to know that there is no where on the face of this earth you can go where you can feel safe???? how does it feel to know that your no better than osama bin laden or saddam hussan. both of them creatures killed just because they had the power to do so.....and thats what you did to lennox. you killed him just to show you had the power to do it.
    Now that you destroyed a childs companion, your being cut down to size. you wanted to get back at the barnes family for some personal vendeta. and they came out heartbroken but on top. they are the ones who are holding their heads high with pride. your ducking your head and running for cover. hiding behind court rulings which im sure you had a hand in having passed.
    one or more of your employees will speak out about the turth behind all this. and when they do your going to face more humiliation that you can handle.

  38. Erica Petty

    BCC managed to get in a very negative way the whole world's attention.
    I agree with all of the above said. And much more with what Charlie said. Their cruel action must be not only investigated but also prosecuted. Please do not let this go unforgotten. I belive too that Lennox was abused. And a lot. They DID have an alternative positive solution which was to rehome Lennox. And they chose the most unhealthy, cruel and disrespected one. In this they showed zero dignity, zero grace and zero common sense. In their final decision there was nothing that had to do with being humane, while only a bunch of unreasonable exuses were offered, if that, not even did they give the opportunity to say goodbye to the family. I am and we are all here beyond words. I pray and hope there will come a day when the creul actions of these people will be charged for what they are: a very horrible crime with no possibility to appeal, where very uhnealthy, selfish and poor behaviours have been dispaplyed through their actions. GOD BLESS LENNOX.

  39. D. T. Broadnax

    As a certified dog behaviorist and dog trainer, I am so disgusted and outraged at this, I am just seeing red. If Lennox was black with a white chest, he would be my dogs Rugar and Pepper. For the last decade, I have been strongly fighting breed specific legislation in my area. I have worked too hard, and devoted too much time training my two pitbulls to be labeled dangerous - not because of their actual behavior and level of socialization, but because of their breed.

    The thing that outrages me more(and it seems pretty widespread regardless of country or city), that the people who do evaluations are not even qualified to do so. When looking at the video of the evaluation, the evaluator was seated before the evaluation of a supposed "dangerous dog", and that is something I would never do with a dog that has been preliminarily evaluated as such. The video is a sham, and an insult to anyone who is educated in dog behavior.

    While this angers me, it also makes me more determined to fight breed related legislation in my area.

  40. susie

    Thank you Viktoria.The answers the BCC gave were utter rubbish.we all saw the video,i have never seen such a well-behaved dog.We want the truth and the BCC to pay for what they did!Shame on Belfast!You had options,but we know that the dog was probably killed way before,and it saddnes me to think that you tortured this dog,,because as Pat Mcarthy says"Lennox,would come through the fence to get at you"for sure you were hitting it or aggravating it to do that,if indeed,lennox even did that.I feel sorry for all the dogs that YOU take from familes..THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN BELFAST!

  41. moogie haynes

    I really can't think of much more to add to the sentiments above, but I do wonder at the fact that people who are obviously dog haters are put in charge of such decisions . Seems to me that at the very least, HUMANE people should be chosen to be in charge of such decisions, not the hartless, barbarous automatons who destroyed this innocent dog for no good reason I can discern. It was no better than the exercise of a petty power trip, that heartlessly disregarded all the many other options to EASILY be had......I t boggles the mind....
    Why are these idiots allowed to continue in their offices???? There's a special pit in hell for these heartless morons...Bet on it!!!!
    Someone in your country needs to start a petition to remove these people...They obviously lack the capacity for humanity and even the most basic demonstration of good judgement....

  42. Julia Murphy

    This stinks of some sort of cover up! Victoria thank you for stepping in for the Barnes family, These people are not known for their kindness. and you put your head on the firing line. Owning a dog myself I do watch you on tv, you have shown us an amazing side to you that makes me really respect you. You are not just another person on tv for show, You stood up and fought for what you believed in! I did hear some people had made threats to the BCC, I am sure this did not help the case, I expect if anything it made them more determined to put Lennox down, I have the feeling that Lennox might have been abused while in the care of the BCC for the two years he was there, maybe to get him to react in a bad way, that would of led them not to let the family anywhere near him before or after, I think the collar is being withheld for spite. For 5 years this dog was a pet, I think that re the Barnes families daughter, if Lennox was bad in any way they would not have had him anywhere near their daughter. I would like to see an investigation into this case, I was phoning the BCC and others, for the last 2 months of Lennox's life and will continue to help for Justice for Lennox and all the future victims of the BCC. Human murderers are treated a 100 times better that this innocent dog was. To the Barnes family, you are not alone..

  43. Chris

    We have to take the good with the bad if we are going to eradicate dangerous breeds. We must put public safety first, especially children. Pet owners do not need to be given a choice which includes dangerous dogs so maybe this will be for the best in the long run. Some of these dangerous breeds scare me as well and so they really must be killed off as hard as that is for some who already own them.

  44. Leslie

    Gee, so much for dogs making people nicer. You dog lovers are acting like a vengeful lynch mob. Pretty pathetic that you care more about dogs than about anything else. I bet you nuts would rescue a drowning pit bull over a drowning panda bear. I KNOW you'd rescue a dog over a person.

  45. Susan in Texas

    I am ashamed to admit that I too was ignorant like Leslie & Chris. That's not meant as an insult to these two people or others like them. Ignorance is a "lack of information". I was afraid of Pits because of the hype, just like the BCC. However, on a cold January afternoon, I rescused a beautiful, 5wk old rednose Pit on a street corner from a man that appeared to be high on drugs. He said Abby's mother & father had gotten into a fight and he didn't have them with him, but I could see her sister from a different litter. When he brought her from the car, I could see the fight scares on her face & body, but she was friendly & sweet. I took Abby home & rescued her from a fight/bait situation. She has been a dream companion for me and I have since adopted two more Pits and another breedcondsidered dangerous a Doberman. My ladies are well behaved and loving.

    I truly believe it's the human and not the breed. BBC has just proved that. Whether the abuse is to prepare them for the fight ring (like Rome did with the gladiators) or kill them because of who they are (like Hitler)'s the human without any humanity. We will be judged by how we treat our most hepless. Our dogs worldwide need a voice. Thank you Victoria for being one of those voices. God bless you and all those who rescue the sweet, loving babies and who work to stop BSL.

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