Hank's case could have easily gone the same way as Lennox the dog's infamous case did back in 2012. But thankfully for Hank and his family, it hasn't. Hank, a 2-year-old Pit Bull, was removed by police officers and dog wardens from his family's home earlier this month because of Belfast City Council's BSL law.
Hank's humans, Leonard Collins and Joanne Meadows were not home at the time, so the officers left them a note, but they had no way of knowing where he was, as Hank was taken to an undisclosed location.
Hank was taken away by authorities after neighbors had contacted them about concerns about the dog. Seeing that Hank was a "pit bull type" he was seized and taken away.
Word got out and dog lovers worldwide mobilized to try and have Hank spared. An online petition received over 290,000 signatures.
Hank displayed some behavioral issues, according to authorities, but the Belfast City Council put the dog through through behavioral assessments and it was recommended that he be placed on the council's exemption register. The expert believes that any behavioral issues could be addressed through proper training. Thanks to this assessment, Hank has been spared!
Leonard told the BBC he was "really delighted" with the news that Hank will be able to return home. He said: "Hank is in no way a danger to the public, as we have always known, but we were afraid of what might happen to him."
Hank could easily have been put down as Lennox the dog was in 2012. Lennox's case was particularly controversial and ended with the dog's death despite public outcry and what appeared to be improprieties in his case.
Subject to court approval and with the agreement of his owners, Hank will be the 12 dog to be placed on the exemption register since 2011 after which he will be free to go home.
Hank's family hopes he will be back with them very soon.
View more articles in: Advocacy and Animal Welfare