Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Open Letter to City of Belfast

Despite thousands of pleas for mercy, you have decided to go ahead and kill an innocent dog at 7:00 a.m. this morning.  Lennox, a dog that did nothing but love, who hurt nobody was brandished dangerous by people who chose to begin a war against an innocent victim.  In your personal fear and ignorance, instead of educating yourselves about the true dangers of various dog species and listening to the many voices of reason you chose to believe your own personal fear based stories, rather than turning to the mountains of evidence that easily prove this to be otherwise. Thus, an innocent being through no choice of his own who was born to a breed that you decided was not acceptable was killed after 2 years of people around the globe writing letters of protection.  In this ridiculous decision you stole not only a precious life, but the tremendous joy he brought to his family. Now you imprint a scar so deep in the lives of these people and leave their hearts forever torn.

Despite evidence and testimonials from intelligent sources around the world, you somehow felt that you knew better. Even support from the dog whisperer himself, Cesar Millan asking you to reconsider your views that he was a dangerous dog, leaves you refusing to accept an alternative point of view. I can only believe your decision was made out of stubbornness not compassion, out of anger, not justice.  I find it impossible to believe you authentically made this decision in the best interest of the public, but in order to retaliate against the sheer support of his life. This is a vindictive, cowardly and arrogant decision.  Not only did you refuse to accept responsibly for making an error but you continued to make the error real because you did not have the empathy, intelligence or humility to reconsider your values and attitudes around this issue.

In fact, writes Victoria Stillwell, one of the worlds’ most respected dog trainers says  in her official report:

Lennox showed a number of deference behaviours including turning his head away, licking his lips, turning his body and walking away, in response to David Ryan’s attempts to frustrate him. This is an impressive trait in any dog and shows a dog using submissive behaviour rather than offensive behaviour to cope in what is a relatively stressful situation.

At one point, photographs leaked from the facility where Lennox is being held, showed the dog licking and interacting with Alexandra Lightfoot. Lightfoot is a dog warden who testified that Lennox had been aggressive since his seizure.

This is evidence that your reports were falsified and that Lennox was a gentle, kind dog. I think I dislike human beings because I know they are capable of so much more than they attempt to be.  I see the beauty they are capable of and yet over and over they choose to take actions of mediocrity, humiliation and out of balance pride.  And today you, the City Council of Belfast who were capable of choosing an act of compassion, love and mercy instead chose to act in hatred, violence, fear and apathy.  This is sad, considering you are in a position of power and authority and thus affect the lives of the people that you are in service to.  And in this council, a position that requires deep consideration of the actions you are taking, you chose to reflect your own arrogance and inability to listen to the voices of reason around the world.

This was a shameful decision and I hope one that you will wear in burden for the rest of your lives, as it should be when considering the gravity of this situation…. taking a life is no small decision. It is permanent, it can not be undone. Ever.

 

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