Benvardin Kennels wrongly caught up in ‘Lennox’ row

BENVARDIN Animal Rescue Kennels (BARK) have issued a public appeal for an end to threatening messages being received via Facebook.

The move came as the local charity was wrongly caught up in the row over the destruction of ‘Lennox’ - a pit-bull type dog - which was put down recently.

A BARK statement on Facebook said: ‘It is with deep regret that I have to post this on Benvardin Kennels facebook site.

‘Over the past number of days since the destruction of Lennox ... we at Benvardin Kennels have received many threatening messages via facebook, mostly made in the early hours of the morning.

‘We cannot stress enough that Benvardin Kennels have never had anything to do with the kennelling of Lennox.... We at Benvardin have no idea where Lennox was kept and have no connection with Belfast City Council as stated on various links.

‘Benvardin Animal Rescue Kennels was founded in August 2010 as an independent charity dedicated to helping the dogs from council pounds that were destined to be destroyed.

‘Unfortunately the allegations we have been receiving are having a massive impact on the valuable work that we do at Benvardin and we would ask that these rumours STOP! Could all our loyal facebook followers please share this statement,’ the message said.

Benvardin Kennels was founded in August 2010 by Louise Neill. She was the former Shelter manager for the USPCA who had been based at Benvardin for the previous 15 years.

After the USPCA had vacated the site Louise went about setting up a new charity - Benvardin Animal Rescue Kennels. They are a fully registered charity and are totally self funding.

Their website states: ‘As we now approach our 2nd birthday we have managed to rescue and rehome well in excess of 1200 dogs that would have otherwise been destroyed. Our main aim is to rescue from the council pounds that normally destroy after the set 5 - 7 day period. All our dogs are vet assessed, vaccinated, microchipped, wormed, frontlined, neutered & council licensed. The only thing they need is that loving home.’

Earlier this month, Belfast City Council confirmed Lennox, an illegal pit-bull terrier type dog, had been put down,

The dog, which was put down after the expiry of a deadline for legal appeals, attracted a global campaign of support.

Campaigners claimed to have 200,000 signatures supporting a reprieve and emotions were running high.

Staff at Belfast City Council were targeted for intimidation by some supporters.

One Belfast councillor received a death threat over Lennox’s proposed destruction and workers in Belfast City Council have become the target of a fresh series of intimidating and threatening messages.