More than £5000 has been raised online in less than 24 hours for distraught dog owners whose beloved pet was seized by Belfast City Council “because he looks like a pitbull”.
Less than 24 hours after a JustGiving page was launched to save ‘Hank’ more than £5317 had been donated.
Explaining the reasons for the fund raising campaign, dog owner Leonard Collins said: “On the 14th July 2016, Hank was taken from my home by 8 police officers and 4 dog wardens. He has been condemned to die because he looks like a pitbull.
“Our only legal recourse is to fight this in the courts. We will do anything to save Hank, he is a much loved part of our family. He is more than a pet. The best chance at returning Hank to his home is to prove that he is not dangerous, this is costly due to the need for professional opinion.
“Any help you can give will be warmly accepted.
“Joanne and I are forever indebted to the generosity we have been shown so far.”
Joanne Meadows - the ex-partner of Leonard - who still helps care for Hank has launched a social media campaign to save Hank.
To date the page has received around 19,000 likes.
Yesterday a spokesman for Belfast City Council said: “The council has a statutory duty in relation to the enforcement of the Dogs (NI) Order 1983 as amended. The dog known as Hank has been taken in for assessment, and it would be inappropriate to comment further while this assessment is ongoing.
“We would like to assure those who have expressed concern about the dog’s welfare that he is being well looked after and his needs are being met.”
Two years ago, a campaign to save a Belfast dog named Lennox hit the headlines around the world.
Lennox was seized by Belfast City Council in 2010 as an “illegal pit-bull terrier type” dog, and was put to sleep in 2012 following a lengthy legal battle.