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Statement re Lennox

July 14, 2012

PLEASE READ ALL including the links. If the links do not work then copy and paste into address bar.

On the 25th of May 2010 we received an email from the owner of Lennox who had been seized in Northern Ireland.

Direct quotes:**He is kept in a secure back garden which is completely surrounded by 8 foot high brick walls and you can only see him through a 6 foot high iron gate which has a tamper proof pad lock on it at the bottom of my driveway and as I live in a court he and my other dogs have no access to the general public.**

**My partner advised he didn’t know where the dog’s collar, lead and muzzle was for them to examine him as he is fearful of strangers and suffers from hair loss due to stress as diagnosed by our vet and dog trainer recommended by our vet.**

Based on this we advised strongly to petition the Courts to have Lennox removed from NI jurisdiction as it was clear to see that the dog was at risk due to behavioural problems. Our offer to take him was not accepted and the owner proceeded with the Courts.

A few weeks passed and plenty of people contacted EGAR asking why we would not help Lennox. So I personally went onto the Lennox FB page and offered help again and also offered to meet the owner when I collected Bruce from NI (Bangor) to discuss the case and do a breed ID and temperament assessment. I heard nothing back, which was fine as I have plenty of other cases to look after. However, next time I went onto the Lennox FB page, he had become a therapy dog to the daughter who suffers from asthma, had developed hair loss due to neglect at the hands of the BCC and the first solicitor had dropped the case and was being vilified. This solicitor is the very same solicitor who defended Bruce and was absolutely brilliant, she even put some of her OWN money towards the last appeal and was near tears when she rang to let me know we had won and that Bruce was coming to live at EGAR! So I asked questions:

HOW did a yard dog all of a sudden become a *therapy* dog?WHY had the solicitor dropped the case? WHY the need for donations when the whole case was funded by Free Legal Aid? WHY did the vet, who allegedly treated Lennox for hair loss, not testify, neither did the dog trainer they allegedly had? WHY did none of the neighbours testify on Lennox’s behaviour?WHY did the owner now say that her daughter was traumatised when the dog warden ripped the dog from her arms when she stated clearly in her email to EGAR that her daughter was in school?

Next thing I know all hell broke loose and I then got accused of having killed Bruce, offering to steal dogs from a *compound* in Northern Ireland, was living under an assumed name in Ireland as I was wanted for cruelty in the UK, amongst other, equally unsavoury things. At this stage, I was speechless. And then a pattern emerged, ANYONE who asked uncomfortable questions was vilified and hounded. And even those who had nothing to do with it were attacked:

Yolanda Elwood ordeal: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/dog-warden-and-her-family-terrorised-by-hate-campaign-15133228.html

And it got so bad that the Attorney General is now investigating:

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Belfast-City-Council-officials-abused-by-Save-Lennox-supporters-152015975.html

Firstly, it was the initial solicitor who was threatened, so much so that she had to take legal advice on the matter for herself, then Yolanda Elwood (see link above) and next in line for abuse was Sandie Lightfood, the then acting dog warden. Ms Lightfoot testified in Court:

**The dog wardens attended on 19 May 2010. One of the wardens, Ms Lightfoot, attempted to examine the dog in the kitchen. The dog was very agitated, barking and growling. The dog lunged at her head and hit her with his muzzle. She was unable to carry out the examination because the dog was repeatedly lunging at her. The applicant finally agreed that the dog wardens could take the dog and she placed the dog in the Council van.**

It took her months to gain Lennox’s trust and she was the one who handled the dog when the assessments were carried out. This was used against her in the following hate campaign against her person. Absolutely ludicrous.

Their own defence expert said in Court: ** On the other hand Mr David Ryan, on behalf of the applicant, in a report dated 16 March 2011 recorded that when he reached over the dog’s head to clip a line to the back of his collar in one movement the dog lunged towards him, growled, barked and snapped. **

Despite having told me in her email:

(Direct quote from email)** I confirmed I had seen both of his parents when I got him as an 8 week old pup, his mum was a Pedigree American Bull Dog and his Father was a cross between a Pedigree Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a Pedigree Black Labrador which they also still owned**

The owner admitted in Court: **The applicant accepted that the dog was of the type known as a Pit Bull Terrier and that she was guilty of the offence of being the keeper of such a dog within Article 25A of the 1983 Order as amended. **

Also:**The judgment of 3 September 2011 referred to the circumstances in which the dog was removed from the applicant’s family by the Council. The judge noted that the dog had been in kennels for 17 months and that Ms Lightfoot was the main carer. Her conclusion was that the dog was “one of the most aggressive and unpredictable dogs she had ever met.” The dog was on medication for depression which had mellowed it. Her conclusion was that it would not be possible to correct the dog’s faults and he remained a danger to the public and anyone around him. Two other dog wardens gave similar evidence. The applicant stated in evidence that she did not know the dog was a Pit Bull Terrier until she was told by the dog wardens. She conceded that the dog had changed since an incident where she and her child were threatened by a group of youths. She said the dog gave no problems in the house. She admitted that the dog did not deal well with strangers who forced themselves upon him. The dog had been neutered and micro chipped and was covered by third party insurance. She also gave evidence that she was willing to muzzle the dog and at present the dog was muzzled “to warn people”.**

Link to the Appeal Decision: http://www.courtsni.gov.uk/en-GB/Judicial%20Decisions/PublishedByYear/Documents/2012/[2012]%20NICA%2019/j_j_GIR8515Final.htm

• WHY was the petition signed by so many thousands never even presented to the Courts?

• WHY neither, was any petition made to remove Lennox from the jurisdiction despite plenty of offers from various countries/organisations, not just EGAR.

• And WHY the constant need for donations, when the whole case was funded by the taxpayer via Free Legal Aid?

• WHY are there no pictures of Lennox in the house as an adult (apart from a badly photo shopped one)?

Lennox photoshopped to an indoor photo

Lennox photoshopped to an indoor photo

• WHY did Craig Winters aka John Winters aka Micheal Hunter threaten another well known anti BSL organisation with terrorist organisations and spammed the EGAR wall with vile threats and ridiculous allegations?

• WHY did the owner never sent any treats or bedding to Lennox? EVER..?

• WHY did they not ring the dog warden to enquire about their dog?

• And WHY did he say in Court: *Ms Barnes’ partner told the dog wardens that the dog would “rip your head off” if approached**

I leave it to you to find the answers in the above links and basic human nature.

PS. NONE of us were against Lennox to suggest otherwise is ludicrous,  we are, however, anti lies and deception. And to those who direct their energy towards threats, violence and untruths: there are countless dogs like Lennox in the Pound, if you want to do something CONSTRUCTIVE then we strongly suggest you help them and lobby the government in the UK to abolish BSL.

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One Comment
  1. Pringoals permalink

    OMG, it all makes sense now. I always thought something didn’t add up with the Barnes family. Your bullet points are excellent, why we never questioned those issues before I cannot tell you. I signed the petition and I did wonder why we never heard anything further.

    The Barnes family should be ashamed of themselves and I hope the investigations that follow this are carried out asap, and that we don’t get slapped with another FB campaign to make us feel sorry for them when they are in court for their actions.

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