After a two year battle attracting animal activists from all over the world by his owner Carolina Barnes, a seven-year-old dog named Lennox was put to sleep on Wednesday having been deemed as a threat to public safety by the Belfast city council despite an online petition to save the dog.
Two years ago, Lennox was seized after being deemed a public danger to the community in Belfast. The dog, described as an American bulldog and Labrador cross, was taken from Barnes' home in April 2010 because he resembled a pit bull-type dog.
Barnes, however, maintains the dog was not a danger to anyone nor has Lennox bit anyone. Having engaged in a long legal battle over Lennox, Barnes argued the dog should be spared and perhaps settle outside of Northern Ireland rather and be put down.
But on Wednesday, the battle came to an end after the deadline for legal appeals expired according to The Telegraph.
The Belfast City Council released a statement on Wednesday to confirm the dog was put to sleep.
Belfast City Council confirmed today that the dog Lennox, an illegal pit-bull terrier type, has been humanely put to sleep. This was in accordance with the Order of the County Court which was affirmed by the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.
Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety.
The Council's expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.
Over the past two years, Council officials have been subjected to a sustained campaign of abuse including threats of violence and death threats. The Council has been in ongoing contact with the PSNI in relation to that.
The Council regrets that the court action was necessary but would emphasise that the safety of the public remains its key priority.
Since Lennox's case became public, an online petition called Save Lennox attracted countless animal rights activists to support his cause extending as far as New York, where protesters gathered outside of the British Consulate for a reprieve. The petition garnered over 200,000 signatures, including celebrities like TV dog trainer Victoria Stilwell and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, the Telegraph reported.
On Wednesday, Lennox's owner Carolina Barnes took to Facebook to thank supporters despite the dog being put down.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all again for your messages of support, the statement read.
We are sorry to say at the present time Belfast city council seem to be intent on killing our boy. Despite previous assurances otherwise, we have been denied the opportunity to say goodbye.
We have also been told that we cannot collect his body and bring Len home. We have been informed however that we will receive 'some' ashes in the mail.