Concerned individuals from around the globe who called the Belfast, Northern Ireland City Council to voice their opposition to the euthanization of an "illegal" dog seized from its owner's home in 2010 were mocked with animal noises.
That accusation was made Wednesday by a reporter from The Examiner. According to that news site, Natasha Madison phoned the Belfast City Council early Wednesday morning to inquire about whether Lennox, a dog the Council called an "illegal pit-bull type" and condemned to death, had been euthanized.
Despite a global outcry, which included a vigorous social media campaign, opposition from Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and even former boxing champ Lennox Lewis, the hapless hound was killed early Wednesday morning under the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA), even though he never showed any aggression in his abbreviated seven-year life.
Calling to lament the situation, Madison told The Examiner that the woman who answered the phone at Belfast City Council mocked her.
"The lady literally read a script saying that it's a court decision," Madison said. "I asked her again to please confirm, she started to cough and literally started making sheep noises and then started laughing, then she hung up on me."
Another caller, Veronica Basaglia, said a friend who called BCC was met with pig-like oinking and was also hung up on.
Officially, BCC announced that "the dog Lennox, an illegal pit-bull terrier type, has been humanely put to sleep... in accordance with the order of the County Court which was affirmed by the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal."
Lennox's grieving former owner, Caroline Barnes, waged an unsuccessful two-year legal battle to save her beloved family member. Barnes argued that Lennox was a bulldog-labrador cross who had never exhibited any dangerous behavior in his life.
But BCC disagreed, claiming Lennox was "one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs" it had encountered.
Barnes told CNN that she was "devastated" by the decision to kill Lennox. Others around the world expressed similar anguish.
"My heart is shattered," one Facebook supporter wrote. "Lennox was an innocent dog who was killed not because of his breed but by his looks."
In the wake of Lennox's killing, a "boycott Belfast" movement has sprung up online.