Monday, July 16, 2012

We Are Lennox

This time last week, hundreds of thousands of dog lovers around the world hoped and prayed that the Belfast City Council would spare the life of a dog condemned to death. Lennox, a mixed breed dog, was taken from his loving family, and held in solitary confinement for two years.  A lengthy court battle ensued, various dog behaviorists testified that Lennox was not a danger to the public, and sanctuaries in the United States offered to rehome the dog. Despite all of that, Lennox was killed. Not because of anything that he did, but because of what he looked like.

At the center of the dispute was a Breed Specific Law (BSL), which prevents citizens of Northern Ireland from owning Pit bull or Pit bull type dogs.  Although a subsequent DNA test showed that Lennox was not a Pit bull, the city used measurements and physical characteristics of the dog to enforce their ruling.

Sadly, BSL’s have often specifically targeted “Pit bulls”, American Staffordshire terriers, American Pit bull terriers, or dogs who may be none of the above, but share some of the breed characteristics. These laws are hard to enforce, costly to the public, and often punish responsible dog owners whose dogs have done nothing wrong.  The vast majority of the dogs that these Breed Specific Laws target are neither vicious, nor dangerous.  Blame it on misinformation, misperception, or media hype, but most of these dogs are good dogs who have gotten a bad rap. 

If you would like to adopt or foster a Pit Bull, you’ll always find an adora-BULL face or two at HSEC. Right now three of our residents are Pit bulls or Pit bull mixes - Blossom, Hadley, and Blue.

Blossom has been at HSEC for 15 months. Blossom had a rough start in life. She was emaciated when found under a building with her puppies.  She gave them all she had, and almost paid the ultimate price for it. Luckily, things have really turned around for her. She is a gentle soul who loves to give licks, get tummy rubs, and take walks. Blossom’s skin still gives come clues to her hard beginning, but we hope you can look past that and see what a gem Blossom is. Blossom is housetrained, spayed, up to date on all shots, and would need to be the only dog in the family. Her adoption fee has recently been waived, and she’s waiting on her forever family!


Hadley is a three year old who is full of life and full of love. She is very smart and very eager to please. Hadley loves attention and gets so excited when volunteers take her for a walk. Hadley is a pretty girl with soft fur that she loves to have rubbed. She would love to be a part of an active family. Hadley is housetrained, spayed, and up to date on all shots.


Blue is a beautiful grey male who was thrown out of a car onto our facility’s property in May.  When
we got to him, we found that he was in a lot of pain, and immediately took him to the vet. The diagnosis was a broken front leg and and a broken tail. The leg was put in a cast, but the tail had to be amputated. Blue has been in a foster home since May, and would love to find his forever home. He does not do well with cats, but is housetrained, neutered, and up to date on all shots.

There is nothing that we can do to change Lennox’s sad ending. However, there is plenty that we can do to change attitudes, perceptions, and laws that impact these innocent dogs. Breed Specific Laws are intended to provide peace of mind, but all they have accomplished is a false sense of security and the destruction of animals never shown to be dangerous.

Help us correct this injustice. Perhaps you can’t adopt one of these guys. That’s ok. You can foster. If you can’t foster, you can volunteer. If you can't volunteer, you can donate. If you can't donate, you can crosspost information on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, email, etc. You don't have to feel powerless - EVERYONE can help.

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