The case of Lennox the dog who was taken into custody by Belfast City Council in May 2010 has finally been settled. A judge has decided that the dog must be put to sleep - and this time there can be no appeal.
It is a case that has rumbled on for more than two years, outraging dog lovers, and building momentum as it continued. Lennox's owner Caroline Barnes can at least content herself with the knowledge that she fought tooth and nail for her beloved dog, appealing again and again in the hope of saving his life. I would like to think that in the same situation I would have found the strength to do the same. You can read more about Caroline and Lennox's story in a previous blog post.
Whatever the wrongs and rights of the case - and there seem to be several discrepancies about the way Lennox was initially assessed and taken - at the heart of this case is a tragedy, because for over two years Lennox has been imprisoned, isolated and kept in conditions that no dog should have to endure. And all that time his family loved him, and fought to be reunited with him. No dog - and no dog owners - should be put through that.
If his family is still kept apart from him as his life is brought to an end, I do hope that some kind soul rests a tender hand on his head, and whispers a loving word in his ear. But I doubt it.
The other hard fact is that there are dogs like Lennox all over the UK; imprisoned awaiting their fate. Let's not forget them - so if Lennox's story touched your heart, find a dog like him in your area and lend them your support.
R.I.P. Lennox - run free.