Murdered for looking a certain way. That’s what happened to Lennox, a beautiful family dog from Belfast, Ireland last week. A beloved member of the Barnes family, Lennox was seized two years ago for looking like a “Pit Bull type dog”- a dog deemed dangerous and illegal to posses in the U.K. due to BSL. Lennox had been licensed for 5 years but was suddenly deemed dangerous. Though DNA tests proved the majority of Len’s genetic breed make-up was American Bulldog, authorities and the Belfast City Council deemed otherwise. He looked like a Pit Bull, they said. After 2 years of legal battles, petitions, celebrities’ pleas and offers to adopt Len to a country where his look is permitted worked. The Belfast City Council murdered Lennox on July 11, 2012 without even letting his family say goodbye.
Though needlessly killed by people far more dangerous than himself, Lennox did not die in vain. Lennox is now an international symbol of justice for all dogs, a name that paints a personal story on the ugly face of BSL and undeniable proof that something must be done to stop the ignorance and save our dogs. If an animal can be murdered simply for looking a certain way, where have we come to as a society? What message are we sending, that we as humans cannot come up with a better solution than murder? BSL started because people wanted a solution to reduce dangerous dogs and stop dog attacks. But BSL does neither; it simply spends taxpayer dollars to murder dogs, like Lennox, who look the wrong way.
A movement on Facebook called I AM LENNOX has started and encourages people to post photos of their dogs who could fall under BSL. I encourage everyone to go and post photos of their beloved dogs, whether you own a Poodle or a Pittie. The fact is, any dog could be singled out and killed, so all dogs are affected by BSL. Think BSL only affects Pit Bull type dogs?
In my community of Miami-Dade, voters are exactly one month away from the vote to repeal the ban of Pit Bull type dogs. Lennox’s injustice has helped bring awareness to the issue of BSL and why it so desperately needs to be stopped, from Miami, FL to Belfast, Ireland and all over the world. No dog should be killed for how he looks and no person in their right mind should think otherwise.
What would you do if your dog was murdered for looking a certain way?