Lennox the dog is put to death in Northern Ireland


LONDON — After months on death row and a transatlantic campaign howling for his release, time has run out for Lennox the dog. He has been put to sleep, officials in Northern Ireland announced Wednesday.

In a terse statement, the Belfast City Council said it has humanely destroyed “one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs” that its appointed expert had ever come across. The council expressed regret for the court-ordered euthanasia, which it carried out for reasons of public safety despite “a sustained campaign of abuse” against city officials, including threats of harm and death.

The plight of Lennox, a pit bull terrier-type mutt, had inspired a viral social-media campaign in both Britain and the U.S., where animal-rights activists and others demanded that the dog be returned to its owner. Thousands of people signed an online petition for a stay of execution; First Minister Peter Robinson, Northern Ireland’s top leader, and Lennox Lewis, the boxing champion who shares an obvious connection to the dog, joined the chorus urging mercy.

In its odyssey through Northern Ireland’s legal system, Lennox’s case almost resembled that of a human offender convicted of a capital crime (except that the death penalty — for two-legged criminals, at any rate — is outlawed in Britain).

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Taiwan photographer records shelter dogs' last moments [Photos]

Taiwan shelter dogs' pictures by Tou Chih-kang

In Taiwan, one man is giving animals destined to be put to death a last moment of dignity -- through the lens of a camera.

Photographer Tou Chih-kang, known professionally as Tou Yun-fei, has taken pictures of hundreds of dogs in their last moments at the Taoyuan Animal Shelter, just before veterinarians put them down, the Associated Press reports. His photos draw attention to the plight of strays, 80,000 of which are reportedly euthanized annually in Taiwan.

PHOTOS: A dog's last moments

“I believe something should not be told but should be felt,” Tou told the Associated Press. “And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through.”

See more of his striking images and behind-the-scenes shots in our photo gallery. You can also view some of his photos on this photo-sharing website.


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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Photo: Taiwanese photographer Tou Chih-kang hangs his portraits of the final moments in the lives of shelter dogs for an exhibition in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan. Credit: Wally Santana / Associated Press


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