Belfast woman loses final bid to save pit bull terrier-type dog

image captionBelfast City Council claim Lennox poses a serious risk to his owners and members of the public.

A Belfast woman has failed in a final attempt to spare the life of her pit bull terrier-type dog.

Northern Ireland's most senior judges rejected Caroline Barnes' legal bid to overturn an order for the destruction of her pet, Lennox.

The dog was seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens in May 2010. He was assessed to be a danger to the public and subsequently ordered to be put down

Two lower courts had already ruled that the dog should be put down.

Ms Barnes, 35, had accepted her pet was a pit bull type, but claimed there had been a failure to properly consider a possible exemption scheme.

Her legal team went before the Court of Appeal seeking to compel the County Court judge who confirmed the destruction order to state a case on points of law.

They argued that the animal had never bitten anyone and had behaved impeccably since being impounded. They said the dog has not been given the chance to show it could be safe.

The decision that Lennox should be put down came after amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act were extended to Northern Ireland in 2011.

However on Tuesday, the Appeal Court judges dismissed Ms Barnes' application.

"The judge had heard evidence on the issues relating to this dog over a protracted two-day hearing, carefully considered the evidence and the issues and he reached conclusions of fact which have not been vitiated by any error of law on his part," Lord Justice Girvan said.

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