12/07/2012

Lennox

Sometimes I am so ashamed of the human race that it makes me cry. This is not a happy post, and just writing it brings tears to my eyes. But it has to be written, because everyone has to know.

Lennox, the beautiful seven-year-old pitbull type (not even a real pitbull; just a similar-looking type) was "put to sleep" (I hate that expression and am still debating with myself on whether to use the word murdered, which is what really happened. Killing is still killing, even if the authorities are doing it) yesterday by the Belfast City Council following a court order.

Lennox's crime? Looking like a forbidden race considered "dangerous" (pure 100% bulls**t: dogs aren't dangerous, people are) by ignorant, simple-minded people. He was a bulldog-Labrador cross.









Was Lennox dangerous?
Let's for a minute forget about my idea that "putting away" dogs that some nuthead considers "dangerous" is  heartless, cruel and often unnecessary (as a long-time animal rights activist, shelter volunteer worker, cruelty-free writer and former dog owner, I can tell you that the only reason dogs become a danger is because of various kinds of bad treatment - abuse, violence, neglect, poor education, spoiling - at the hands of humans. So we are the dangerous ones, not the dogs. But like I said, let's put that aside for a moment) and focus on whether Lennox was a "danger". Nowhere in any of the articles I've read or any of the petitions I've signed does it state that Lennox had ever been a menace to his family or others.  This was a microchipped, neutered dog. He got along well with other dogs (the family is reported to have had two other dogs). Some reports even claim he was of assistance to the family's disabled daughter, who loved her animal companion very much.

...and what about the family?
The legal battle for Lennox went on for two years - and the family had no visitation rights whatsoever. When the atrocious decision was made, the family was denied the right to say goodbye or to take Lennox's body home and give him a proper funeral. I am sure this is because the authorities had kept the dog in horrible conditions, with zero regard for his needs as a living being (lack of regard which is clearly shown by the actions of the authorities in question).


Why petition?
What I am most outraged about is that all of the work done by animal rights activist groups sometimes seems to be completely pointless. Not even 200,000 names on petitions were enough to show the authorities that Lennox deserved to stay alive. Sometimes I wonder what it is that keeps people (myself included) petitioning, if those in charge never listen. Thousands of people offered to bring Lennox outside Ireland and adopt him to give him a life in a country where he could be safe. Social media was full of pleas, petitions, dedicated pages and suggestions on how to solve the "problem". Nobody listened. Nobody cared. They had decided that Lennox shouldn't live and that was it. As if they were God. As if the decision about this dog's life or death, of this family's happiness, was theirs to make.

Who are the authorities, anyway? People, just like us. But if 3 million (the total number of people worldwide that took part in different Save Lennox campaigns) of us show we want - or don't want - something, shouldn't that count for something? Shouldn't we at least be given a voice? Making a more compassionate decision would have made the Belfast authorities come across as something for the city to be proud of. Instead, we're all angry and disappointed. To what end? What result has been reached?

RIP.
My heart goes out to Lennox's family. I'm with them in my thoughts and I hope they find peace, even if it must be hard after this. I hope this little girl manages to get her smile back. And I hope that whoever made this decision will be haunted by what they did every day, until they have a change of heart and start working for a better world. I still believe in a different world, even if every day it's more like believing in fairy tales.

"Compassion is the only true source of happiness"

- Dalai Lama

The above picture is from the blog The Modern Vegetarian, written by veggie blogger Alex. Check it out everyone; it's my new favorite! And her post on Lennox is great.

5 comments:

  1. I signed several petitions too and, honestly I'm appalled by the way it all ended.
    It really broke my heart to hear that all the efforts made to save Lennox were not even considered by the authority.
    Thanks for this post, because it expresses also the anger I felt...

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  2. Thanks for this post I'm your follower n.110 :)
    kisses

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  3. non sai come ho sperato fino all'ultimo, è veramente assurdo. e rimango convinta: non sono i cani cattivi ma i padroni. se poi ti azzanna una chihuahua cosa fai? caro, vuole giocare. e magari ti ritrovi 20 punti nel polpaccio. caXXate.

    sono indignata.

    baci cara!

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  4. This post is very sad! :(
    I think too that in so many ways animals lifes are not respected at all,they are just used as "things".
    I agree that animals are not evil but humans make them be.But I also have to say that sometimes people could drive a dog crazy and there's no way for them to come back to a normale life just in the most difficult cases.When this happen there is not other way that "put to sleep" the dog because he could hurt someone.
    The poin is that this is alla about people who have no respect!

    Tanya

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  5. La Bibu: hai ragione, le "razze pericolose" sono in tutti i sensi un'invenzione umana. Un chihuahua incavolato é tenero, un pitbull curioso é "pericoloso". Poi, anche un cane pericoloso puó essere recuperato dalla giusta persona, come al nostro canile. Alcune razze non sono per tutti, ma questo non era il caso di Lennox. Qui si trattava di semplice ignoranza.

    Tanya: I see this happen a lot as a shelter volunteer. We have lots of dogs that have been taken away from their owners as the owner was making them fight in illegal dog fights (which makes me so angry I can barely type). Our experts slowly, very carefully and with tons of patience, try to bring the dog back to normality. It's not easy, and many of those dogs will never be adopted - and yes, in rare cases some have to be put away. But at least everything that can be done has been done. This was not Lennox's case, though. The only thing he was "guilty" of was LOOKING like a pitbull. This is insane. And even if he were a pitbull (which he wasn't)? Pitbulls can be lovely, friendly family dogs. I think this is a very sad case that tells us so much about society today and especially those governing it.

    Tina: thank you!!

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