Canine Rights

Warden Who Testified Against Lennox Gets a Promotion

In the midst of worldwide outrage over the execution of Lennox the dog, Alexandra Lightfoot, the dog warden who testified that Lennox was “one of the most aggressive dogs” she had dealt with, has received a promotion.

Lennox, the sweet-faced black dog in Belfast, Ireland, was seized from his owners in April 2010 because he was considered to be a “pit bull type” dog and therefore a danger to the public. His owner, Caroline Barnes, argued that he was a bull dog labrador cross, not a pit bull terrier. Lennox had never attacked anyone, and Barnes even offered to move him to the United States, to an area that permits ownership of pit bulls.

Lennox

Lennox was kept in shabby conditions for 2 years while his owners fought for his return. Photo courtesy of the Save Lennox Campaign.

A massive international campaign was started online to save Lennox. Over 200,000 people signed a petition to save the dog, who was kept in a shabby municipal dog pound while a two-year legal battle waged on. After the Barnes family had exhausted every legal avenue to bring their dog home, a final court ruling upheld the decision of two lower courts to destroy Lennox under the Dangerous Dog Act.

Lennox was euthanized on July 11, 2012 without officials informing his family. The council had rejected Barnes’ request to be present when Lennox was put to sleep and instead opted to mail his ashes to them.

Prior to Lennox’ execution, Alexandra “Sandie” Lightfoot took the stand and testified under oath that Lennox was “one of the most aggressive dogs” she had ever seen, and testified that she was scared to be around him. But – video captured one year after Lennox was seized, shows Ms. Lightfoot holding and petting Lennox during an assessment by dog behaviorist, David Ryans:

Ms. Lightfoot’s involvement in the case has been questioned, not only by the Barnes family but also by thousands of Lennox supporters. Lightfoot has been accused of perjury in the case and a petition signed by 15,000 people asked that she be removed from her position as a dog warden.

It seems, however, that Lightfoot may have already moved on. According to the minutes of a Meeting of the Environment and Borough Services Committee in April 2012, it seems she was given a promotion to Animal Welfare Officer in the city of Antrim.

Lennox supporters are again outraged by the news of Lightfoot’s promotion. The Barnes family has said they will not be giving up. In a statement by the Save Lennox Campaign:

Lennox’s Family Won’t Be Giving Up. The Family Are Taking Some Private Time To Mourn. The Family Pledge To Continue Their Campaign To End BSL. Lennox Won’t Be Forgotten Nor Will The Cruel Act Carried Out By Belfast City Council.

The Official Lennox Campaign Website Is Currently Offline & After Some Modifications Will Soon Be Relaunched.

Again The Family Thank All Supporters Around The Globe For Their Countinued Support & Hope That You Will All Continue To Fight Alongside The Lennox Campaign For An End To BSL.

Victoria Stillwell, star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog, had offered to adopt Lennox, and is irate over the handling of his case. She posted this angry message on Facebook several hours after Lennox was killed:

I am so disgusted and want everyone to know how low Belfast City Council have stooped. The Barnes family heard about the death of their beloved dog through me because I had been told by a source at BBC Radio Ulster. After what the council put the family through they didn’t even have the decency to inform the family first before everyone else know. Someone involved in this mess needs to lose theirjob. If this is the way they represent their citizens then Belfast beware. Belfast City Council should hang their heads for the shameful and insensitive way they have handled this. Heartless doesn’t even begin to describe the people surrounding this case. Appalling and I can assure you, this will NEVER be forgotten!

and another message the following day:

I want to know why Belfast City council won’t give Lennox’s body back to the family and why they won’t even return his collar to Brooke even though they were asked to do so by the family so that she could have something to remember him by. There is something corrupt going on and an independent review of the council’s actions in this case needs to be done. I want answers. Why not return the body? Was Lennox even still alive and what physical condition was he in at the time of his death? We already have evidence of his poor physical state during Sarah Fisher’s behavioral evaluation of him last year. Hair loss, sores on his body,a hurt neck and damaged paw. The council have many questions they need to answer because I think they have something to hide.

Killing Lennox has definitely caused a stir of anger among the public. Requests for investigations into the handling of his case have been flooding in. Campaigns are springing up all over the internet, including a Facebook campaign of people posting images of their dogs, posing with the words, “I am Lennox.”

As further details continue to emerge regarding Lennox and his treatment by the BCC, the more disturbing it becomes. What are your thoughts on the Lennox case?

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Sep 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I agree with Victoria on this. I feel that the Belfast City Council was wrong in doing what they did to this dog and his family and feel that there was something corrupt going on. I feel that every person in this case from the animal control person that seized Lennox from his home all the way to the high court judge that up held the decision to execute him should all be thoroughly investigated and lose their jobs plus have to pay Lennox’s family some kind of restitution if any corruption is found. Also, like Victoria, I to wonder what was truly going on behind the decision to not let the family visit him or to be with him when he was executed; and it is highly suspicions as to why the family couldn’t have his intact body to bury or the daughter to have his collar. I feel that this poor dog was abused and neglected while in the care of Belfast City Council either due to because of their ignorance of pitbulls making them to scared to properly care for him or because they wanted to provoke him so they would have good reason to execute him.

    As for Alexandra Lightfoot, it is obvious from the video that this person DID commit perjury and should be charged with ketempt(sp) of court or what ever it is called that a person is charged with when they commit perjury. A person who is as scared of a dog as she claimed she was of Lennox would not be as relaxed or casual around the dog as she was around Lennox in the video. A person would not sit and make it easier for the dog to tear their throat out they way she did with Lennox if they were as unpredictable as she claimed Lennox was. So either she completely lied on the stand or he wasn’t aggressive or unpredictable and was only made that way from the treatment he received after being seized from his home. She should diffidently lose her job and at least have to pay a fine to the court for perjury.

    • S. Lovatt

      Oct 2, 2019 at 9:12 am

      Totally agree she should be prosecuted for lying to the court

  2. Jamie

    Aug 11, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Such an Aggressive dog…. NOT! Such a wrong way to decide for a precious life! 🙁

  3. Genoveva M. Martinez

    Aug 3, 2012 at 8:47 am

    What a disrespect for the life of an innocent killed, and the pain of Lennox family, needless to mention all the people who cared to save Lennox life. If it was up to me she would be euthanized, all together with the members of BCC.

  4. Lynda Ward

    Jul 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Like the many other doglovers (and just people with common human decency) I have followed this case closely, and have been appalled and bewildered by the behavior of the Belfast City Council. The only reasonable explanation for their refusal to consider allowing Victoria Stillwell to claim this dog, in the light of all the negative publicity, is that the dog died while in their care, and they covered this up. Ms. Lightfoot appears to have been rewarded for her part in the case, however dishonest and unfeeling it has been.Whatever the explanation, the BCC has shown themselves to be unworthy of public office, and many people are determined to continue asking that they be investigated.

  5. Viviana M.B. Cattani

    Jul 18, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I’ve read “it seems she was given a promotion to Animal Welfare Officer in the city of Atri m.” Well, I don’t think it’s that difficult to verify, first of all.
    Second thing: how far is that city from Belfast?
    Third thing: isn’t there in Atrim some good loving-animal soul who’s willing to turn that bitch’s stay in that city into a well deserved hell?
    …not a threat at all: just my hope.

  6. Peg Pruitt

    Jul 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    That lying bitch should have been fired and the entire council recalled (if that is possible under Irish law).

    I do not know if Belfast earns much income from tourism, but if it does, we need to mount a VIGOROUS international campaign to make potential visitors aware of the city’s brutality, and encourage people to visit elsewhere. A boycott won’t help poor murdered Lennox, but if we can hurt them in their wallets, I say let’s do it. If there is a central governing authority in Northern Ireland, we should try to enlist their help. And if they turn their backs on us, we – as potential tourists – should turn our backs on them. We should not rest until these murdering barbarians are called to account.

  7. Julie

    Jul 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    This really doesnt surprise me after all she did LIE for the BCC so they could (in their mind) legally KILL Lennox!!! I just feel sorry for the other dogs and their families that WILL be going through this exact same thing IF the public does not keep fighting and fighting LOUDLY !!! We cant allow the anger to wear off in any way and forget everything that Lennox and the Barnes family went through!! Alexandra Lightfoot and the BCC made Lennox and the Barnes family suffer immensely for well over two years without a care in the world and now they give this MURDERER a promotion??? That is like throwing salt into the wound they caused,these people have no morals or heart and I just hope and pray that this only angers and reminds the public that these individuals DO NOT CARE and WILL NOT CARE so NEITHER SHOULD WE !!!!! Rest in Peace Lennox,I will NEVER forget.

  8. Rose

    Jul 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Sick SOB’s are trying to get him to bite.. Karma! we await your Karma you murderers…. Standing over him, as if to challenge him sick sick sick!!!!!

  9. Stacy Phillips

    Jul 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    The Belfast City Council needs to thrown out of office.

  10. sherry young

    Jul 16, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    A Promotion is way out of line for this murderous witch, I think that over weight lying piece of trash, should go to the dump where she belongs, Karma, and God will be here soon. I saw the pictures of her and Lennox, that dog was no more a threat, than a fluffy kitten. You are not God Belfast, You have No Right To Take a Life Of Any Innocent Soul.. I am so Glad that I will never go to your country or purchase anything from there, I am Also ashamed to be Irish….HOW COULD YOU DARE DECIDE, IT WAS YOUR RIGHT TO TAKE A FAMILY MEMBER AWAY ?? READ THE STATISTIC’S YOU HAVE MORE CHANCE OF DYING OF A HEART ATTACK FROM EATING JUNK FOOD, THAN BEING KILLED BY A DOG!! YOU JUST WANTED POWER !!! I FEEL SORRY FOR ALL OF YOU, YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO, LIKE FEED HOMELESS STARVING PEOPLE OR IMPROVING YOUR COUNTRY ?????

  11. Teresa Yankey

    Jul 16, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    My heart breaks for the treatment of Lennox and for his family. He was loved and he will be missed. Someone needs to answer for this crime. Shame on you Ms lightfoot, and shame on you Belfast!

    • Rose M Mulcahy

      Dec 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Please don’t blame the people of Belfast; they are as heart broken over the killing of Lennox, as are thousands of people around the world!

      The ones to blame are the small-minded members of Belfast’s City Council, along with their partner in crime, Alexandra Lightfoot! It now appears she’s been promoted to Antrim City Dog Warden.

      To the people of Antrim, if you love your dog(s), keep them close to you. Don’t let Alexandra Lightfoot get involved in a decision, as to whether they live or die. Remember Lennox?

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