Lennox: a rebuttal

Note:  Please STOP the Karen bashing… I did not write this to gang up on her but to state facts as I saw them and make corrections.  ENOUGH… there are many more important and URGENT issues/dogs lives at stake… for instance, the dog in Canada and UK who will be killed in 24 hours and more… we have to STOP BSL NOW.  Thank you.

https://celiasue.com/2012/07/24/lennox-redux-in-canadauk/

 

 

 
Lennoxgate… outcry for investigation of BCC

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-k-smith/lennox-the-dog-dead_b_1693590.html

pls share, everyone tweet the prime minister @number10gov and ask him to investigate the BCC re: Lennox,  be persistent… be factual and professional

if Dispatches receives 1,500 emails or more about Lennox they will look into it .. so here’s the email address dispatches@channel4.co.uk

Rebuttal to Karen Friesecke of DoggieStylish’s blog post about Lennox …plus some new info that has come to light about this case, a copy of the court document, interviews and more…

here is the link to Karen’s blog post…

http://www.doggiestylish.com/blog/2012/07/facts-about-the-lennox-case-that-nobody-wants-to-talk-about/#more-10625

First, a rebuttal from Maggie Corchnoy who works as a paralegal in the USA

This is a very biased assessment, masquerading as an objective look at the case. As a paralegal, it is part of my job to read through the briefs submitted by our opponents – this is, in essence, the brief for the BCC. She takes the information she wants to bring forward and ignores that which does not support her case. Look, for instance, at the fact that she accepts Tallack’s status as “expert”. In an American court, it is doubtful that Tallack, lacking sufficient background to prove his expertise, would have been qualified to testify as an expert at all, and would certainly not have been permitted to testify in regards to Lennox’s behavior. In his report he acknowledges that he was not asked to assess Lennox’s temperament or behavior, nevertheless he qratuitiously offers his opinion & does so in a very unprofessional way.

The fact that the trial judge gave more weight to an unqualified person’s opinion than to the assessments of two behaviorists with credentials to back up their opinions would have weighed heavily against the judge with an appellate court in the US – it is highly likely that the decision would have been overturned for abuse of judicial discretion. You cannot substitute, willy-nilly, an unqualified opinion for the opinions of qualified experts.

She takes Alexandra Lightfoot’s testimony at face value, despite what has been brought forward outside of the courtroom that raises grave doubts as to the veracity of her testimony. Lightfoot’s behavior in the videos we’ve seen has consistently shown a person who is quite comfortable with this dog whom she testified under oath that she is afraid of. Her posture is relaxed and she frequently looks like she’s not even paying attention to him. This does not square with her testimony in the least, and certainly raises the possibility of perjury. Her behavior towards the family and online also raises questions as to the character of the woman.

Her discussion of the possibility of an exemption is remarkably off-base, as she ignores the behavioral experts’ assessments that Lennox is a safe dog, while the language she uses makes it sound as if they concur that he could not be safely released. “The judges and people who had ACTUAL CONTACT with Lennox could not be satisfied that he would NOT be a threat to public safety”. Both Fisher and Ryan concluded that Lennox was safe and recommended that he be released back to his family. This is a very old tactic – by avoiding mentioning which “people who had actual contact with Lennox” she makes it sound as if it were the united opinion of all concerned that he was dangerous – while completely ignoring the behavioral experts’ findings and recommendations.

She engages in cherry-picking throughout this opinion piece – and make no mistake about it, this is not an unbiased review of the facts, it is one-sided and anything but an assessment of all the facts in evidence. By starting as she does – presenting posts which easily allow her to tar Lennox’s supporters as emotionally-overwrought and credulous, she makes it easy to dismiss us. Note that she does not present a single post in which facts of the case are discussed, but only those that bolster the image she wants to project. Where, for instance, are there any quotes in the introduction from the website? There isn’t a person who deals in litigation that doesn’t know cherry-picking when we see it. Those are some of the easiest opponents to rebuke in a reply brief because we can take the time to go through & point out each & every little bit of misdirection and half-truth. It’s harder to do in a context like this, unfortunately.

One more note on how she cherry-picks & uses misdirection in an attempt to destroy the credibility of those who have supported the Barnes family & Lennox. Read what she wrote about Victoria Stilwell: “The Victoria Stilwell “noise.” Victoria Stilwell NEVER had contact with the dog and has ZERO education credentials from any recognized institutions as a dog behaviorist. She’s barely a dog trainer. I refuse to take dog training/behavior advice from someone who didn’t own a dog until recently and wrote the book Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet”.

Barely a dog trainer? The woman founded a dog-training business, has studied with a number of behavioral experts, has won awards and accolades for her training methods and her personal experience as a trainer. She mentions one of her books, but leaves out the other: It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet. Note how leaving out the first book – a dog-training book – demeans her. Victoria Stilwell has never claimed to have had contact with Lennox. She was asked to assess the evaluation videos & reports of the behaviorists & did so, turning in to the court what amounts to an amicus brief. Her celebrity status has been helpful in bringing attention to the case, which she readily acknowledges, but does not render her opinions any less noteworthy. In fact, I’d venture to suggest, going back to my original post, that while Peter Tallack would most likely not make the grade as a qualified expert, Ms. Stilwell would. So we see bias at work once again – more skillfully applied than some of the other proponents of the BCC have managed, but bias nonetheless.

In addition, regarding the court document…

The decision itself was poorly-written and not supported by the weight of the evidence.

when I’m writing legal documents. I would sink with embarrassment if I turned in a work product as bad as that decision!

Now my rebuttal to Karen...

First, notice that Karen starts off using a quote by Stephen Hawking to bolster her “opinion” as if her opinion is the TRUTH and implies that whatever anyone else’s opinion is or the facts themselves are not true. Tricky way to start off. Anyone who starts off by saying something like that, implying that they and they alone hold the truth and everyone else is ignorant, is flawed from the get go. I trust that Karen has NOT been as intimately involved in this case, has not read the court docs, done a ton of research nor read many different articles, listened to radio and TV interviews, watched videos, all from a variety of sources, as I have done. I could be wrong about that. To me, overall, her piece is a knee jerk reaction. Sorry, Karen.

This clearly is a very volatile issue with lots of people speaking and various opinions on all sides. I am all for people speaking their minds, expressing their opinions and appreciate when people back up their statements with facts. I am as biased as anyone else.  My position is I agree to disagree with everyone. And we can still discuss this rationally, if not objectively. When emotions run high, it takes a lot to bite one’s tongue. And I have been known to run off at the mouth, rant and rave and get on my soap box. But I do not masquerade my opinions and try to pass them off as facts. Stick to the facts, ma’am is usually the best way to go. All of us human beings are flawed and biased. Although I am a reporter/editor, I do not subscribe to and was not taught in J school the myth that journalists are objective. Although we may attempt to present a fair and balanced view, our opinions DO color the facts.

For instance, in my last term of college, I did an independent study of a controversial topic of my choice, abortion. My assignment was to research many different newspapers and to see how the topic was presented. Was there bias or objective journalism going on? I found out through many hours of reading newspapers from many different states that overall, at the time, in the early 80’s, for the most part, whenever pro-choice folks were quoted, they were presented as educated college folks and the article appeared on the front page or first page. However, when the pro life crowd were quoted, the article was on a last page and they were shown to be religious fanatics and nut cases. Perhaps this was coincidence but I think not.

I went to college and studied journalism, became a reporter and have worked as a reporter and editor since the 1980’s, my credentials, by the way.

Moving on.

Peter Tallack, the BCC “expert” is a police dog handler who was paid to testify for the BCC so he was NOT an impartial adviser. He had/has a biased agenda, an ax to grind. Do you believe celebrities or others who are paid spokespeople for a product or your best friend or neighbor who has NO financial stake ???

According to the provisions of the Dangerous Dog Act, Tallack does not have the necessary credentials to be an “expert.” He does not have a college degree.  He also offers opinions that he was not asked for including saying that Ms. Barnes shouldn’t own a dog because of her disability.

Personally, I condemn violence and threats. Victoria Stilwell, who many around the world hold in HIGH esteem due to her professionalism and qualifications as a dog trainer, a person who knows and understands dog behavior and who has worked with ALL types of dogs including aggressive dogs and pit bulls is definitely a credible person. No one paid her to talk about this. No one paid her to take Lennox to America. All you have to do is watch her work  on It’s Me or the Dog and read her books to know that she has integrity and is willing to speak the truth even when she probably should not. She has said that she has received threats by BCC employees and was even sued by Peter Tallack or at least he tried to sue her but he did not actually have a valid case against her.

Her words:

“I do not approve of threats and intimidation being done to anyone on either side and would appeal to those who conduct themselves in such a way to stop – you are not helping matters. But also be aware that those of us who have supported Lennox and the family themselves have also received threats, some from the very people that BCC employ.”

As a government witness for the Belfast City Council, Tallack tried to extort money from Victoria Stilwell.  Peter Tallack was paid by the BCC to condemn Lennox. He also attempted to extort money from The North Country Gazette apparently, threatening to sue and seek an injunction to attempt to stop the news publication from writing about him.

According to Victoria Stilwell’s Facebook page, Tallack tried to extort money from her.

the BCC’s ‘expert’ did try to sue me for speaking out against him and questioning his credentials, and yes, he did expect money from me to settle the dispute. He was not successful because all I did was speak the truth.”


Apparently, a formal complaint against Tallack has been lodged with law enforcement officials.  Read more here:

http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2012/07/14/tallack_shakedown/

Karen dismisses the above as rumors. Clearly, they are not rumors.

BCC has a reputation for bullying folks. And now have a campaign against everyone and anyone who is speaking out against what they did to Lennox.  Dogs Today Magazine’s advertisers have been targeted and the company was threatened with calls to the police. For what? For speaking up for Lennox. Gee, all these rumors.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10151036125059642&id=22448504641

Karen also mentioned Cesar Millan as if he somehow had more qualifications than Sarah Fisher and Victoria Stilwell. He is a man and also a dog trainer. Does that make him more qualified? He also offered to rehome Lennox behind the scenes. He did not say publicly (as far as I know) if he was able to discuss options with the BCC or not). However, his methods of dog training have been condemned by some as being too dominating, even abusive (kicking dogs, pushing them down, etc).

Stilwell is a dog trainer and behaviorist and works with pit bull type dogs all of the time. Many dogs she works with are aggressive, fearful, full of anxiety. I have seen her work with people and their dogs including pit bulls on TV numerous times. Her credentials are years of experience working with all kinds of dogs, some who have actually bitten people. Lennox NEVER bit anyone, was muzzled in public and was a family pet. Victoria arranged for Lennox to be rehomed in the USA in a sanctuary (she does not say which one but presumably Best Friends where the former Vick dogs live. I can say this as having worked there and knowing that this is something that they would do).

Even if Lennox was a dangerous dog there would have been NO danger to the public as Victoria had the transportation all arranged and the people at the sanctuary have years of working with difficult even so-called dangerous dogs and know how to do so safely.

Lennox had offers of sanctuary from some of the best-known dog advocates in the world, Cesar Millan, Victoria Stilwell, Jeff Coltenback, who has a pit bull rescue in New Jersey and has 20 years experience rescuing dogs and working with dogs including pit bulls. Lennox would NOT have been in a public setting and therefore he would not have been a threat to society as Tallack, Lightfoot and the BCC claimed.  Victoria and Jeff never received a reply from the BCC although they both made many phone calls and sent numerous requests.

Employees of the BCC received a memo issued in December, 2010 by an official of the BCC’s Health and Environmental Services Department which told members of the BCC not to discuss the Lennox case at any council meetings.

For the most part, the media in the United Kingdom also did not print articles about Lennox for the two years before Lennox’s death.

Government officials in Northern Ireland and the BCC knew of the situation as they received many many requests for clemency, phone calls and emails and obviously did nothing to stop the execution of an innocent dog.

With the exception of First Minister Peter Robinson who publicly said he did not agree with the court decision to kill Lennox, no government official has publicly addressed the worldwide outcry to save Lennox and requests for mercy from even the Italian government who also offered to rehome Lennox. There also has been no response to requests for an investigation into the BCC.

James Crosby, an expert witness in the US in several State Courts and one Federal District Court on dog aggression, canine behavior, dog assessment and dog attacks has 30 years experience working with truly dangerous dogs, 30  who have actually killed people. His comments:

“Whenever I evaluate an allegedly truly dangerous dog, I wear protective gear (kevlar gloves, etc.). If Lennox was so bad, where was the AC Officer’s protective gear? I used to make my AC Officers wear gloves at least when catching strays….Jim Crosby

for the rest of his comments, read his post (link below) and listen to his interviews (see below)

http://networkedblogs.com/zNR4K

“Even though the dog wardens claimed Lennox was dangerous, they never muzzled the dog in any of photographs and videos for assessment and evaluation”.  More unanswered questions and evidence at the link below.

https://celiasue.com/2012/07/13/justice-for-lennox/

If the BCC have nothing to hide, then why wouldn’t they let anyone, including the family, see Lennox before and after his death? why did they not allow the Barnes family a last visit (which they certainly had the authority to do). Once he was dead, Sarah Fisher stated that she offered to take the dead body to the family so that they could bury him but the BCC refused. WHY? What possible danger would he have been to anyone once he was dead? Why have they refused to send the family his body and/or his collar as a keepsake for the young girl??? And why have they refused to COMMUNICATE with anyone in the public responsibly???

another opinion

http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981474680

Lightfoot’s promotion to Animal Welfare Officer

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/328631

Perjury of Lightfoot

Lets not forget this dog warden shown in the pictures above gave evidence in court under oath stating that Lennox is aggressive, uncontrollable and she is afraid of him. The pictures raise the obvious questions, does this dog warden look at all afraid of Lennox? Does this dog warden look to be afraid of being in the same vicinity as Lennox? Does this dog warden look like she cannot control Lennox? Does Lennox show any signs of aggression toward this dog warden? Everyone can see that Lennox is willing to please and show love toward this warden and for this same warden to stand in court and claim under oath that she is afraid of Lennox is a disgrace to the dog warden service, the Belfast City Council for employing such an untrustworthy person and to the warden herself. The warden can clearly be seen in the picture placing her face up close to Lennox’s face which is not something a normal person would do if they claim they are afraid of a certain dog or claim it is aggressive and they cannot enter the same vicinity as such dog.
http://savelennox.com/2011/09/09/an-act-of-perjury-by-belfast-city-council-dog-wardens/

The BCC has either ignored phone calls or on the morning of Lennox’s death, they made rude animal noises to people calling and asking if the dog was still alive and hung up on them. And they even lied to at least one person’s face. A woman who was truly concerned and wanting to find out about the fate of the dog called the BCC for info. Two hours AFTER the BCC had released their statement (the woman did not know about this until later), the BCC assured this woman that Lennox was still alive.

What truly disturbs me is the horrible condition Lennox was in when Sarah Fisher met with him. He had NOT been in such terrible shape before when Lennox was with his family. Hair loss, sores on his body,a hurt neck and damaged paw. Were they taking proper care of him as they stated (see below)?

http://savelennox.com/2011/10/11/statement-on-lennox-by-sarah-fisher/

Here are court documents from the case

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/news/lennoxcourtstatement.pdf

Some notes/excerpts about the court document…

In several instances they call Alexandra/Sandie Lightfoot… by the names Ms. Whitefoot and Ms. Lightwood…  if they cannot get the names correct, what else is incorrect in this court document? (I used to be a legal secretary and typos are not allowed never mind incorrect names)…at least in the USA this docment would not be acceptable… and inadmissible and certainly not considered a professional court doc.

The dog had a problem with stress and Ms. Barnes admitted that he was bad with strangers but had never bit anyone. She never let the dog near strangers, adults and children. She was willing to comply with muzzling, had insurance. The dog was registered as an American bulldog/Labrador on his license.  (see photocopy below).

Tallack was supposed to measure the dog, that is it. He had no expertise regarding dog behavior. But he said that the dog had a severe personality defect. He is not a dog psych nor a vet. He criticized Sarah Fisher’s methods. He thought that a dog biting a lead/leash as Lennox had was a bad sign (poppycock) and decided that Lennox was an accident waiting to happen… a mature dog fixed in its ways. (The former Vick dogs refute this nonsense completely)…

Sarah Fisher has not had experience with pit bull type dogs in the UK but HAS had experience with these dogs in the USA where they are NOT illegal. Fisher’s assessment started with Lennox being in a van. He was distressed and wanted to stay with Ms. Whitefoot who he clearly had a good relationship with. She clarified her methods, she used a clicker to see if that would upset the dog, introduced and withheld food/treats and tested the dog’s reactions to see if Lennox would react aggressively and he did not. She dropped the lead a couple of times, people walked by and Lennox did NOT attack anyone.

She mentioned his health issues and recommended that he visit a vet surgeon. She said that if the dog was in pain that could make him difficult to handle.  (Was any of this ever addressed by the BCC?)

Fisher then discussed David Ryan’s assessment… the court doc calls him Ramsey instead of Ryan a few times. (again, if they cannot get the names correct in a court document, this is indicative of other errors)…

Ryan noted that the dog could be muzzled and kept in the home of Ms. Barnes. Being in a kennel would be too traumatic for Lennox. More so than other dogs, he said. (Was this ever addressed by the BCC?)

Fisher noted that Lennox could have bit Ryan but did not do so. She concluded that Lennox was a well behaved dog.

There are opinions taken as facts by the court… I was impressed by the evidence of the dog warden… that is the dog’s warden’s opinions were considered facts. It seems according to the court/Judge that the opinions of the dog wardens and paid expert were viable but the real dog experts reports were dismissed.

it goes on talking about the factual evidence of Mr. Tallack which was NOT backed up by any factual evidence, we would call it hearsay.

Mr. Ryan recommended that Lennox go home with the Barnes family.

But then the court says that all of the experts said that Lennox was dangerous. Clearly, this is contradictory and NOT true. Fisher and Ryan said that Lennox should GO HOME.

Then it talks about public safety.

And how the court could not justify allowing Lennox to be in public and be safe according to the experts testimonies. (again ONLY the BCC’s testimony and opinion of the dog warden and Tallack were considered).

and the Judge dismisses the appeal.

Why was the same judge allowed to sit on the bench for appeal? He should have recused himself.

The court decisions in the Lennox case were all  based upon opinions of the BCC.  The decision whether or not he was “dangerous” was not based on facts—it was totally personal and subjective NOT objective.

Both the trial court and appellate court ignored the most important assessment reports from highly qualified dog trainers and behaviorists. David Ryan is listed on the UK’s Registry of Expert Witnesses, certificated as a clinical animal behaviorist by the Association for the Study of Animal Behavior, recognized by both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Psychological Society and is a highly qualified, independent and impartial expert.

But the court instead took the word of  Tallack, a paid witness not an impartial outsider, someone who is known to have a strong dislike of pit bulls, and a person unqualified to give expert testimony.

The government’s response to a Freedom of Information request submitted to the BCC in November 2010 by a family member seeking “the actual conditions in which Lennox is being kept and a full description of the care that the dog is receiving, i.e. human contact, daylight, exercise, stimulation, feeding”, clearly debunks the government’s claim that Lennox was erratic and unsafe and that the staff was scared of him.

JV Corkey, Environmental Health Manager, wrote “Lennox is currently housed in a DARD approved kenneling facility. His pen is cleaned out on a daily basis.  He is fit and health and receives daily exercise.  He has a lot of interaction with the staff of the facility, has plenty of toys, has blankets for bedding and his pen is adequately heated.  He was recently examined by a vet who said that he appeared to be well cared for and settled.”

The First Minister of Northern Ireland saw no reason why Lennox could not be rehomed. Since I do not know how their system works, I don’t know who had the authority to allow Lennox to be rehomed to the USA. But I do know that exceptions and exemptions are allowed in the USA and could have been found IF the government officials wanted to do so.  We were told that the Queen could have offered clemency and that other officials including the BCC officials could have given Lennox a second chance, to be rehomed in the USA, despite their insistence that their hands were tied and that they had to abide by the court’s decision.

The BCC fought for their right to destroy the dog no matter what. They seemed determined to destroy him. For whatever reasons, I do not know. But from all of the work that I personally did learning about the system, talking to people in the UK and Northern Ireland, the BCC could have allowed Lennox to be rehomed IF THEY HAD WANTED TO DO SO.

Interview with BCC “expert”, Victoria Stilwell, Sarah Fisher and James Crosby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dCrHbQMhj4

James Crosby on BSL

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ask-sue/2012/07/16/ask-sue-show-joined-by-jim-crosby-regarding-bsl-laws-etc

Karen’s call to mobilize the Lennox army???  I laud her being against BSL and for calling for people to take care of pit bulls in the USA. That is all good and fine. She is also calling for Sarah Fisher to release her tape and David Ryan to release his assessment. Um, there are already photos from Sarah Fisher’s assessment as well as a video of Ryan’s assessment with Lightfoot.
Karen, is this your comment or someone who commented on your blog?
“You really do have to laugh at people who claim to be a “journalist” and unbiased and just reporting the facts. Anybody with a computer, internet access and a dictionary can lay claim to the title Journalist in this day and age. But most seem to be lacking that one important quaility; integrity……..Or, in other words, BEGONE TROLL, YOU HAVE NO POWER HERE!”

59 Comments

Filed under animal abuse, Best Friends, best friends animal sanctuary, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, dogs, dogs around the world, Dogs Deserve Better, end dog racism, legislation against dogs, Lennox, pit bull, politics, prejudice against dogs, Uncategorized

59 responses to “Lennox: a rebuttal

  1. Jim Crosby

    Thanks for this insightful and detailed analysis Maggie. I would also point out that I have been accepted as an expert witness in the US in several State Courts and one Federal District Court on dog aggression, canine behavior, dog assessment and dog attacks. Shame that the BCC did not require their ‘expert’ to meet even their own criteria of ‘expert’.
    Jim Crosby

  2. Thank you for this inciteful rebuttal. I have followed the story of Lennox and was so appalled when I read this fellow blogger’s negative post. All I could think was she hadn’t read what I read! Your post has eased the anger I felt even though I am still outraged and heart broken over this sweet dog’s inhumane treatment and unnecessary demise. If the world can’t band together to save one innocent dog then how can we possibly save the many facing his same fate? The treatment to Lennox and his family in the last days is unforgivable. I do believe this poor dog was killed long before they claim. God bless you for your courage! Consider me a new follower!

    • Thanks, Debby, welcome aboard… I know it will take time for the wounds to heal, grieving and heartbroken. Cannot imagine the agony of the family. I am working on doing something for Brooke, will announce it soon. In the meanwhile, we can ask the Prime Minister to investigate the BCC and make sure that BSL ENDS.

      • Celia Sue – Here’s my recent post which is a soft rebuttal to Karen. http://www.kirbythedorkie.com/home/2012/7/17/kirby-could-be-lennox.html

      • Thanks, Debby, I read it last night… and plan on having it in another blog post with new info about Lennox and Ending BSL, guess am going to do three blog posts today…

      • Celiasue I wanted you to read the one I posted today not yesterday. But as a blogger I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

      • wow, I just read it, and it’s beautiful, and made me cry (again)… thank you… am definitely going to post it. thanks so much for caring about a dog far away. I keep looking at my Cici and since she IS a pit bull mix, I worry, too and have been extra cautious. Still. I read a list the other night of 75 breeds that are now on a list of banned breeds. 75 breeds including my neighbor’s adorable sweet Aussie Shepherds, Cici’s boyfriends, the gentlest dogs, plus many others. This is craziness, this BSL nonsense… it is racial profiling of dogs. And it HAS to STOP and we have to make it. And that is what my next post will be about… notes from Jim Crosby’s interview yesterday and more.

      • RMFW

        When I was 14 years old, there was a HUGE German Shepard the got out of his yard a lot. Everyone assumed he was mean by how he barked when you walked by that house. He was out and ended up in my back yard. I FROZE with fear, and crumpled up in a fetal position when he walked towards me. He sniffed me and made a noise like “Huh?” and then just pranced away. So much for profileing…..

        The only dogs that have ever bitten me have been pouffy little ones, which was my fault because I went to pet them to quickly and did not ask the owners permission, should these dogs go on the list?

      • yes, Jim Crosby said that the little ones are worse than the big ones… everyone ass u mes that the little ones are safe and they can be crazy. actually, Cici was attacked by a few little ones that were nuts, a cairn terrier, a mini Schnauzer, Jack Russell (a few of her friends are Jack Russells but this dog’s owner was mean and so was the dog, amazing, how that goes together) and a bichon I think, not sure the breed but it was MEAN, bit my leg, too. I have never been bit by a dog except that one. For three whole days that dog was in Cici’s face snapping, growling and trying to get Cici to fight with it and Cici kept ignoring it. The dog’s owner was crazy, too. Finally, after the dog came after her and me, enough was enough and Cici finally let the dog know it was NOT ok. Can you imagine the restraint, self-control of a dog to do that. My Cici is amazing.

        she was attacked 3 other times by big dogs, the dog here in the hood that we saw today, crazy woman’s dog, who let her dog off leash knowing her dog has issues with female dogs knowing cici is a girl… the dog that came thru the dog door and bit cici’s head and the dog up in fort bragg that went for cici’s throat…

        there were a few other scuffles at dog parks but not real attacks, more barking and growling and surrounding cici (three dogs, one piece of work owner)…

        oh yeah, Cici and a border collie were playing nicely for about 30 minutes and then the dumb owner introduced treats and his dog bit cici’s eye and drew blood.

        so I guess that is a total of 8 dogs that have attacked Cici (she has played with 600+ dogs of many breeds)… in ALL of the cases that she was attacked, the dogs that hurt Cici had owners that were irresponsible, ignorant, mean and/or crazy.

      • I believe that Lennox was sold to dogfighters and therefore was no longer available for anyone to evaluate. Those wounds, the paw, the neck….hauntingly remaniscant of the wounds dog fighting dogs suffer during training..These people can have been confiscating and selling all of these so called “pit bulls” This explanation makes all of the puzzel peices fit. Why else have “secret locations”, Why else the family may never see their pets again? Why else all of the “judgements” which defy all juris prudence? I tell you that this is the explanation that fits… Find the money…find the buyers…

    • I agree this dog was long gone before the day they said they laid him down it’s so sad. how in the world can this be stopped? It’s not bad dogs, it’s bad humans

    • RMFW

      Debby, LOVED what you wrote! Thank you for letting me know also that I am not the only one that wanted to SMACK this Karen Friesecke for helping promote the actions of the BCC. It almost seems she was defending their actions! I have no idea how someone can be a dog person and take the stand the way she did. Along with the arrogance, I am sorry if any of my posts got out of hand but it became so outrageous…..

      • Thank you! My heart breaks from what happened and it just takes too much energy arguing with someone that doesn’t get it. No need to apologise for your reactions since I felt the same way. I think she wrote the post because of how much she hates Victoria Stillwell. I don’t think she has followed Lennox story so it’s a shame to use him to try to attack Victoria. it’s time for us to make sure Lennox didn’t suffer and die in vain.
        Feel free to share my posts. I admit publicity helps but not at anyone’s or any dogs expense.

      • frankly, I think she wrote it to get people to read her blog, publicity and she likes to play devil’s advocate.

      • RMFW

        I will never read her blog again, nor am I interested in what she does, what she sells, or anthing else about her. I only got involved because of the bad information she was posting as FACT. I think she made a ton of enimies, and drove off her followers……

  3. Paatricia

    Thank you so much for posting this. I became angry when I read the other blogger’s biased report. I smelled corruption at BCC from the very beginning. I am so sorry for innocent Lennox and his family. BCC was very cruel to them 😦 RIP Lennox.. we will never forget you

  4. Susan Squires

    The BCC think they are above the law. They can and will do anything they want. The BCC need a rude awakening to the real world. BSL needs to end. Now that the world knows how inhumane and cruel it is I hope the name Lennox eventually will remind people that his unjust death brought about the end of BSL. RIP Lennox you are not forgotten.

  5. have read everything that you have written, you are a superstar! so where do we go with all this information? what can i do? i have followed the lennox case from about 18 months ago. i have emailed, signed every petition and have cried sealoads of tears. the bares family deserves the truth about what happened to lennox, and we “the lennox army” do too. pls help us get the truth. if thete is anything i can do pls ask, i will do anything to help xxxx

    • thanks, am trying to determine if someone has filed a Freedom of Info Act request about Lennox body after his death. Do not know how to do that, am not in the UK, either. if you could just keep tweeting and emailing the Prime Minister and asking him to investigate the BCC and tell everyone you know to do the same, that would be great.

  6. Natalie Marconi

    Whar a sad, sad story. I truly hope that the BCC get what they deserve…to lose their jobs, court charges them wirh perjury and get their asses sued. They are corrupt, vindictive and they are arrogant. They have brought sh ame onto Belfast and suffering to a decent family. They killwd an innocent dog because of their egotistical arrogance. They have to pay!

  7. Elizabeth McCann

    This abuse of an innocent pet dog leading to his slaughter isnt going to go away. I look forward to the day there is a full independent enquiry. It is good that so many people around the world are still fighting for justice for Lennox.

  8. Brilliant! Please look at the request for information from the Barnes family. In the answers it stated that there were 68 dog in the facility, whatever that was, four on death row, and two attendants.
    That Lennox had good care, toys, and that he was eventually removed from his filthy bed of sawdust. Wikipedia sawdust for your info on how bad wood sawdust is for dogs to lie in and breathe. Yet this was the recommended bedding!

    Please follow this up.
    Respectfully. Bridgit Sims

  9. dr wendy creed

    This is a case of governmental bullying and abject stupidity. The people responsible should be dismissed instantly they have disregarded expert opinion and have essentially engaged in a campaign of terror and bullying for this family and lennox. They should be brought to book and forced to be accountable for their actions. Shame on all of you for being ignorant and speciest … And for causing such pain and suffering

  10. Thankyou for your rebuttal it states the clear and logical feelings so many Lennox supporters have. i went before reading this and read the original post from this person I can only hope she has neither pets nor chilldren given some of her cold and heartless responses to valid points regarding the refusal to return Lennox’s body or collar to his family. it is sad that someone would choose to post such misinformation around such a sensitive topic. Yes there may have been some supporters whose emotions ran away with them but there were thousands who remained calm and logical. Lennox’s death does not draw attention away from the thousands of animals sentenced in all corners of the globe to die because of they way they look he draws attention to it. We may have been unable to save lennox but by ending BSL we can ensure that others do not join him

  11. susie

    thank you!!very well-written and informative

  12. Glynis Winestein

    I am in the process of asking for details under the Freedom of Information Act as a UK citizen. The details are as follows: For your request to be dealt with according to the Freedom of Information Act, you must:
    • contact the relevant authority directly;
    • make the request in writing, for example in a letter or an email. You can make a verbal or written request for environmental information;
    • give your real name; and
    • give an address to which the authority can reply. This can be a postal or email address.
    You do not have to:
    • mention the Freedom of Information Act or Environmental Information Regulations, although it may help to do so;
    • know whether the information is covered by the Freedom of Information Act or the Environmental Information Regulations; or
    • say why you want the information.
    It is sensible to write the date on any letters or emails you send and keep a copy, so you have a reliable record of your request. If you make a verbal request for environmental information, we recommend that you note who you spoke to, the date, and what information you requested, and you may wish to follow up with a letter or email confirming your request. A written record of a verbal request would be beneficial if you later need to make a complaint.
    It can be helpful to check whether the authority recommends you send your request to a specific person or email address. Some authorities also allow you to request information via their website.
    Some other websites allow you to contact public authorities and make a request through the site. Check that the site will allow the public authority to respond, otherwise it’s not a valid request.
    How should I word my request?
    Your request should set out clearly the information you want.
    • You have a right to request the information, regardless of how it is recorded. You don’t have to specify particular documents.
    • Be as clear as possible. If the authority isn’t sure what you want, it will have to ask you for further explanation.
    • Try to pinpoint what you really want. In some cases your request may be refused if it would be too expensive or time consuming for the authority to deal with. The authority may also charge you for some expenses, such as photocopying. If necessary, start by asking for a list of the information available about the topic.
    • Where possible, ask for specific information rather than using open-ended questions. ‘What or ‘how much’ are more likely to get a useful response than ‘why’.
    • Use straightforward, polite language; avoid basing your request or question on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints or comments.
    • Say how you would prefer to receive the information, for example, electronically or as a hard copy, if available?
    What happens after I make my request?
    The authority must reply to you within 20 working days. It may:
    • give you the information you’ve asked for;
    • tell you it doesn’t have the information;
    • tell you that another authority holds the information or transfer the request on your behalf;
    • under the Freedom of Information Act, say that it has the information and offer to provide it if you pay them a fee (but there are rules about what they can charge);
    • under the Environmental Information Regulations, make a reasonable charge for providing information in accordance with their published schedule of charges. Note: If the authority allows you to view a public register or other information in person, at a place of their choice, it cannot charge for this;
    • refuse to give you the information, and explain why; or,
    • under the Freedom of Information Act, say that it needs more time to consider the public interest in disclosing or withholding the information, and tell you when to expect a response. This should not be later than 40 working days after the date of your request. It can only extend the time limit in certain circumstances, and it must explain why it thinks the information may be exempt;
    • under the Environmental Information Regulations, say that it needs more time as the information requested is particularly complex and there is a lot of information to provide. In such cases the time limit can be extended by a further 20 working days as long as the authority respond within the initial time limit stating when it believes it will be able to respond in full.
    Will I always get the information I ask for?
    Not always. The Freedom of Information Act recognises that there will be valid reasons why some kinds of information may be withheld, such as if its release would prejudice national security or damage commercial interests. For some exemptions the public authority must consider whether the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in releasing it. If it decides that the information cannot be released it must tell you and explain why. Public authorities are not obliged to deal with vexatious or repeated requests or in some cases if the cost exceeds an appropriate limit. In addition the Act does not provide the right of access to personal information about yourself. This is instead available under the Data Protection Act again, subject to certain exemptions, and is known as a subject access request.
    Can I complain if a public authority refuses my request or I am dissatisfied with the way it has been dealt with?
    Yes. You should first complain to the authority and ask it to conduct an internal review. For freedom of information complaints we recommend that you do this as soon as possible and within two months of receiving the authority’s final response
    For environmental information complaints you should make your complaint within 40 working days.
    The Information Commissioner’s Office recommends that public authorities carry out internal reviews within 20 working days. Under Environmental Regulations Information there is a legal requirement that internal reviews must be carried out as soon as possible and within 40 working days. The authority cannot charge for carrying out an internal review.
    If you believe that the public authority has not dealt with your complaint properly, or if it does not have a complaints procedure, the IOC will be able to help you
    Hope this helps

  13. Barney

    BCC are guilty of shameful & illegal blatant fraud & corruption, giving biased false evidence from it’s own paid witnesses who blatantly lied under oath, issuing threats & intimidation of people supporting Lennox, and 2 years of cruel mistreatment, neglect, & animal abuse of poor Lennox, that anyone else would have been arrested & convicted of animal abuse, for.
    BCC need to be investigated, and a sacking of all guilty staff, from the Head of the Council who sanctioned this case, to the Dog Warden who blatantly lied about Lennox’s behaviour.

  14. RMFW

    Thank you for this. I am one of the “Lennox Army” that bashed heads with Karen on her blog. I support her thoughts on spaying and neutering but why she choose to drag the Lennox case into this was not a good move on her part. I started out pointing out information, but her arrogance and flippant answers were hard to take. Her “FACTS” were all skewed and simply were not factual. Her heartless comments, refusal to give credit to the other professionls that assesed lennox or had expert experience with dogs did not sound like someone who sells doggie boutique itmes on line. You would think she would have been more on Lennox side. Not a good sales tactic.. Was Karen Friesecke emailed this rebuttal or has she decline as she did with anyone trying to give what they found as facts to support Lennox?

  15. Beepa One

    Thank you so much. I was highly offended by Friesecke’s blog post. And you have dealt with this so well. What alarmed me even more was her responses to comments made about her vicious article. I’ve never seen anything like it. In fact, she managed to mock me personally. I am encouraging you to put pressure on her blog’s host site to shut her down. Not only was the post skewed, but it was highly offensive with a graphic image of dead dogs. On her comments she uses profane language and is very cruel to her responders. The situation is bad enough. Writing like that makes it even worse.
    Thank you again.

  16. William Ogilby

    I hope with all my heart we will eventually find JUSTICE for a totally innocent creature who’s only flaw in life was he didn’t fit our profile. Shame on all these people involved in poor Lennox’s demise.

  17. Maryann

    Thank you for writing this rebuttal. I responded to this woman Karen’s so called blog with actual facts to dispute some of the information in her blog. In her maturity – and I am being sarcastic – she took parts of my comment along with a few others that did not agree with her and created a new blog. Her point in the new blog was to show that the supporters of Lennox – whom she called Lennox army – were just a bunch of nasty angry people. I hope more people see her blog and respond to her. She insults all those that support Lennox along with Victoria Stilwell and Sarah Fisher. I truly believe this woman is related to one of the council members of BCC. It was a horrible blog. She is just trying to antagonize us. Thank you again.

    • thanks. no, I do not think she is related to anyone. Just the way she is sometimes. I used to chat with her online and she can be sarcastic and flip. Don’t take it personally. We need to focus on what’s really important, that is ending BSL and getting the BCC investigated. Much more important in my humble opinion.

    • RMFW

      I wish people would continue to press her. SHe is still posting crap about Victoria Stilwell, I wonder WHY she appears to have something agains her, Lennox, the dogs family, and anyone that has information she refuses to consider in her blog that is full of false facts. We need to focus on the good that came out of the Lennox disaster, many people had no real idea this can actually happen,

      • Maryann

        RMFW, I wonder the same thing regarding Victoria – what is her problem with Victoria? Sounds like jealousy to me. I guess both your comments and my comments struck a nerve with Karen since she quoted both of us in her second blog! Congrats on that!! Just kidding! Now I am done with her her antics – on to ending BSL in honor of Lennox!!

      • RMFW

        I don’t know Maryanne, Victoria is awfully pretty though! I think she is totaly insane, nothing she says, once you point out her error, makes ANY sence! She is rude, arrogant, totaly full of herself and she SELLS DESIGNER DOG COLLARS? where does she think her customers are going to come from, Lennox Supporters or BCC Supporters?

  18. RMFW

    Celia, I did ask her “Karen” if she got your rebuttal and had a reply, her reply to me was “No I didn’t respond to it because I am not concerned what Celia Sue’s opinion about me is. If she has a problem with me or what I said, she is 100% free to come here and let me know”

    • weird, ego games, not playing. she wants to be all superior and offend people, let her. last year it was RW when people were concerned about Patrick, and look what all the mess she created got her, no more blog, lost all credibility. so not my problem. more important things to do. thanks.

  19. Thank you so much for your informed, and informing article. I have now subscribed to you. This is a tragedy, one the world will never forget! I find so many of the groups on here wringing their hands and wailing. Well now is not the time to wring and wail it is now time to fight BSL on all levels. Not just Belfast. Belfast needs to be boycotted, we all need answers, and those responsible to be made to ” pay the piper”. Lets turn our hate to action! Put the pressure on the rest of the world while it is fresh in their minds. We need to do all this legally. Petitions, demonstrations, lobby your Congressman, Governors, and Representatives in the States. We need to have an Animal Abusers List just like we have a Child Abusers list. They need more stringent laws covering this with not just a slap on the wrist but true prison time. Not just jail time. We as a community. United in Voice. United because of Lennox. It breaks my heart that people did not jump on the bandwagon til the final countdown. Change.org tried to get this out there, but when only 20,000 or 10,000 signed it took 200,000. We are accountable also for every single life, be it two legged or four legged, flies, swims or crawls. ( I never believed for one minute the threats the BCC claimed I thought it was just a ploy for sympathy even before no bomb was found) But BCC you have not heard the end and it won’t go away until there are answers.

  20. Janet

    Thank you so much for your rebuttal to Karen. There are always two sides to each story but the final analysis is that something stinks at the BCC. I wonder how many dogs have been taken away and the owners simply accepted their fate rather than fight like the Barnes family. I did some research on Belfast and until just recently, there was a lot of fighting in the city. Perhaps this is how these people deal with issues. I am in no way condoning the mean-spirited behavior of the BCC but their world is not all that safe. If the BCC is innocent, which I doubt, then they should welcome an investigation. Perhaps Minister Robinson should be contacted again; it seems completely pointless to contact Michelle O’Neill but he might help. I will continue to do what I can so that hopefully no more innocent dogs will killed for their looks.

  21. LeeAnn

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an impressive rebuttal. It’s obvious that you have done quite a bit of research and put much thought behind your words. I, like many, feel that the Belfast City Council, did not take any of the evidence provided by the experts into consideration when they came to their decision. In fact, it’s quite plain that they chose to only listen to the opinions of those that were the least qualified. I too noticed inconsistency of the names in this document, and the way they tried to change what the witnesses said to suit the outcome that they wanted. I do hope that someone is able to investigate this, and the evidence that perjury did indeed occur. Like many, I also question the condition of Lennox and the conditions that he was in. On one hand they tell the Barnes family that Lennox is well cared for, exercised, and socialized, yet they also say everyone is so afraid of Lennox that none of them could go near him, so how it is possible that all his needs were met, when they clearly stated they could not be in his vicinity. I’m also very concerned that the link to the freedom of information act is blocked. Obviously, they don’t want to release any of the information. Why is that? Personally, I think Lennox’s fate was doomed the minute the door was slammed in the wardens face, as that is brought up a couple of times in the document. They didn’t like the fact that the Barnes family were going to fight them from the very beginning, as anyone would do for any member of the family. Thanks again for taking the time to do this. Hopefully, someone will now be able to see the injustices that have occurred and a complete investigation will result.

  22. Toni Morelli

    I read every word of your observations and insight regarding Lennox. The only relief I see is that lennox is out of reach where these arrogant bullies and cowards can no longer torment, starve, and scare him. Maybe God was merciful for lennox and let him pass over when he knew he could take no more. Lennox never knew why his fsmily did not come to see him and why he was kept in a tiny. dark filthy cell. This was not just a dungeon for Lennox, and there are others there also, but this was his Auschwitz. All Lennox wanted to do was go home to the family he loved so dearly.
    This is not fair to Lennox or all the others. My question is this: Where do we go from here? Lennox has given us a unique opportunity to transverse borders and impact thousands of dogs like him. HOW DO WE DO THIS?

  23. Michelle Walker

    Well researched and brilliantly put together piece confirming everything I expected. BCC I have never seen such blatant arrogance and polluted people come together in such a way to have complete and utter disregard for compassion, public opinion (their wage payers) and alternative options. Never ever will this be forgotten or forgiven. We who oppose every single thing this shower of cruel, corrupt shite have done are not going away any time soon. Thank for your balance. I’m not so controlled.

  24. RMFW

    I see requests to send tweets but I don’t use twitter, I did however email the Dispaches as requested, anything else we can do?

    • am working on something, will let you know as soon as I can… I would do as much as you can educating people about BSL as Jim Crosby suggested. As far as the BCC, keep asking the media and Prime Minister to investigate them.

  25. ADM

    Thank you SOOO much for this article – I only hope that the nay sayers can see where “Karen” went wrong in her “expert” blog post.

  26. Dayna Fowler

    Thank you for this insightful blog about the BCC and Lennox. Recently, a dog in our county made national news because it had been tortured…it’s jaws taped shut leaving it’s tongue protruding and swollen. The dog had been tossed aside to die in the Texas heat. For at least 24 hours, this poor creature was unable to drink or even pant properly. Luckily for the dog, a citizen spotted her and our county’s animal control staff and the sheriff’s department searched for her for NINE hours. They would NOT give up on this poor little dog. When they finally found her, she was near death. They rushed her to a veterinarian who was determined to save her life. The sheriff was mad as hell about a dog being treated like this and he wanted justice for her. He made it his mission to find, not only who did this to her, but also find the very best home for her if she survived. Thanks to quick thinking animal control officers, a skilled veterinarian, loving vet staff and a compassionate sheriff, she DID survive. The sheriff recently told me he was surprised at the attention this story got from around the globe. His office received 1,000 calls a day from nearly every part of the planet! I shared with him Lennox’s story and how he had been treated by “elected officials.” I told him our little dog’s story possibly touched a nerve so soon after Lennox’s death. The sheriff’s reply was, “After 40 years in law enforcement, it still baffles and infuriates me how people can be so cruel to animals.” I told him I hoped the BCC saw the story of our little dog, appropriately now named “HOPE.” They need to see what compassion among community leaders looks like. Oh, and what happened to HOPE? Well, the sheriff kept his promise. She’s now a very pampered pooch residing with a notable philanthropic family in Texas….and seven other rescue dogs! At least THIS time…..there was a very happy ending. The outpouring of love heaped upon HOPE, I believe, was partly the result of the injustice done to Lennox. People were outraged and, in HOPE’s case, they could actually be heard and help make a difference. Donations to the reward fund have now reached $35,000! If the perpetrator is not caught, those donations will go towards animal shelters and various animal charities. So, in a way, Lennox’s death was not in vain. Thanks for letting me share this story on your blog, CeliaSue. And keep telling the world about Lennox. Eventually, the tide will turn…. (http://www.examiner.com/article/tortured-dog-hope-finds-forever-home-reward-increases-for-capture-of-abuser)

    • moira

      Thank you for your update on Hope. I had read her horrific story in a British Newspaper but as often in these cases they never do follow ups. So happy she is safe and well and God bless the Sheriff and the caring officials that saved her. BCC could learn a lot from you. I never advocate threats or violence but we will continue to demand an investigation into BCCs actions in this case and fight for justice for Lennox and an end to BSL.

  27. Very much appreciate your follow-through. Many will fall away as new stories of this type of horrific dog killing occurs, but we must remain united and determined in our efforts, and never let Lennox be forgotten, or be quieted that he is now gone. This was a travesty of justice, and I believe that our continued efforts will result in some changes and some people leaving office.

  28. Susan

    BCC were hoping that this would quietly go away after Lennox was put to sleep. They have no one to blame but themselves. They need to tell the truth about what ACTUALLY happened with Lennox. And now that this female has written this blog the determination to get the truth has intensified so in a way she has done the Barnes family the power of good and BCC the exact opposite. Two years I have been following Lennox case. BCC had alternatives which leads me to believe that Lennox was no longer with us a while ago THAT is what needs to be investigated.

  29. An excellent rebuttal – strong and well written. Thank you!

  30. Jo Loke

    Brilliant piece on this barbaric story. I constantly get asked whether my tall, stocky Staffie is a pit, he’s not, he’s full pedigree. What fear this story instils in me, a responsible owner, when uneducated people like these determine what breed and nature our beloved pets are and have , blatantly choosing to ignore the facts.

    It’s beyond belief that the family and Lennox were left with indecision for 2 years as well as treated with such callousness and cruelness.

  31. Janet

    I was wondering about the dog fighting too. Does anyone think there is any truth to the story in the Examiner.com about a pit bull named Buster who was returned to his family after 22 months and was used for breeding? That’s an interesting piece of the puzzle if it were true. I certainly hope the UK government investigates BCC and their mishandling of Lennox and his family.

  32. Patricia Wheeldon

    This is my email sent to dispatches@channel4.co.uk today 25 July 2012 from Australia:

    An urgent heartfelt plea for officials of the Belfast City Council to be held accountable for their inexplicable and disgraceful actions towards the family dog Lennox.

    I write from Australia in the belief that this disgusting behaviour by city officials will not go unpunished. It is simply wrong that the family were not allowed to see their beautiful pet dog once the council had taken him from their care.

    In my belief it was nothing short of a witch-hunt that the council indulged in.

    Disgusted beyond belief,

    Patricia Wheeldon
    Summer Island Road
    via Kempsey NSW
    Australia

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