In the end, it simply boiled down to sheer spite and bloody-mindedness on the part of petty officials. The more people from around the world, pleaded, petitioned and demonstrated on behalf of Lennox, the harmless, friendly family pet of a disabled girl in Northern Ireland, the more those officials simply dug their heels in.
This morning brought an end to two years of struggle to save Lennox from Northern Ireland’s arcane, pointless, and discriminatory laws against any dog that might be considered to look like a pit bull. (Lennox is part Labrador, part American bulldog and part Staffordshire terrier.) The authorities not only refused to return him to his family, they turned down all requests to take him out of the country.
British behaviorist Victoria Stilwell was one of many people offering to take Lennox off their hands. She flew to Belfast from the United States, ready to take him back with her. Numerous people in the Irish Republic (a short car ride away), offered to take him into their homes.
But no, the authorities simply wanted to kill him. And today he is dead.
Lennox was neutered, micro-chipped, insured and DNA registered, and had never had a single complaint made against him.
For two years, after he was seized, Lennox was held in dingy solitary confinement. The family was not allowed to visit him. Numerous appeals failed. Even a plea from Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Peter Robinson, fell on the deaf ears of the little men who were determined not to be upstaged.
What can those county officials possibly have gained from any of this beyond the condemnation of their own citizens and the citizens of the world?
Why did they do it?
Because they could.