Lennox, the illegal pit-ball terrier type dog at the centre of an global campaign to stop him from being destroyed, has been put down, Belfast City Council has confirmed.
Campaigners claimed to have 200,000 signatures calling for a reprieve from his death sentence imposed after he was impounded by dog wardens in 2010.
– Belfast City Council
Lennox, an illegal pit-bull terrier type, has been humanely put to sleep.
This was in accordance with the Order of the County Court which was affirmed by the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.
Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety.
The Council`s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.
It also went on to say council officials have been subjected to a sustained campaign of abuse including threats of violence and death threats for the past two years.
It ended by saying: "The Council regrets that the court action was necessary but would emphasise that the safety of the public remains its key priority."
The Belfast Telegraph has quoted Lennox's owner, Caroline Barnes as saying her daughter Brooke had been denied the chance to say a final goodbye.
– Lennox's owner Caroline Barnes
We had told Brooke that even if we don't win (the case), she can still see Lennox, have her last pictures with him and say goodbye.
"To then have to tell her that no, that is not happening, it has been extremely unfair."
After news of Lennox's demise broke, many of his supporters took to Twitter to voice their disappointment including the First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson:
Dog training expert and 'It's Me or the Dog' presenter Victoria Stillwell had often spoken out in support of Lennox and said she was "absolutely devastated" that he had been put down.
She also tweeted:
My 8 yr old daughter says thank you to all those who supported Lennox. She says he is happy in heaven now because he is safe.From @ItsMeOrTheDog on Twitter: