For the love of dogz by Sarah Gunther
»» Bruce :
“Our solicitor was Alison Douglas. She was committed and no nonsense. She cried with us when the judge ruled in our favour and was professional throughout the whole legal ordeal. She also helped with the last legal bill! She knows how wrong BSL is and went way beyond her call of duty to help Bruce.”
"Alison was the first solicitor Lennox owners had and she stepped down as their legal counsel only a few short months into the case. She was vilified by the owners and their followers and countless stories were made up. People forget or do not know that a solicitor can’t just step down from a case, they have to state their case as to why to a judge and obviously it was good enough for the Judge to grant it."
Yes, Ms Douglas did step down, and that’s because she was spreading herself a bit thin. Ms Douglas made errors regarding evidence and relating to the instructing of an expert witness. If the owners had simply dismissed her they would have been assigned a solicitor chosen by the court.
To avoid that happening, and to give themselves enough time to instruct a solicitor who would be more committed, the owners informed Ms Douglas they were aware she had made certain mistakes and she therefore took herself off the case. Furthermore, she was not ‘vilified’ by the owners, they simply told the truth. If others chose to ‘vilify’ her, the owners can hardly be responsible for that.
"Since Alison was our legal rock for Bruce so why did she pack in the case? She must have had a very very good reason for stepping down and I am sure she will eventually answer the question when put to her."
Refer to our response above, plus enquire about a certain ‘conflict of interest’. Ms Douglas will no doubt answer that question when put to her.
"Anyone who asked Lennox’ owner was told she hates dogs and is pro BSL – this we KNOW to be untrue, given our experience with her and the way she handled Bruce’s case."
Ms Gunther provides no evidence to substantiate that accusation.
"Could it be that the very first assessor of Lennox for the defense stated that Lennox was aggressive? Why did the assessment of Lennox by Madeleine Forsythe never presented to the Courts? Could it be that Alison realised she had been lied to by the very people whom she represented?"
Madeleine Forsythe was indeed the first assessor. She was not known to, nor requested by, Lennox’s owners and was, in fact, brought in by someone else – we suggest Ms Gunther asks Alison Douglas to apprise her of that, if she hasn’t done so already.
In brief, Ms Forsythe assessed Lennox for over an hour (contrary to fabrications and gossip, she took him out of the kennel without using a catchpole) but her written report described a different dog and was dated incorrectly. Ms Forsythe was not allowed to be mentioned in court and therefore that assessment was not used.
"YES, many of you have never heard of Madeleine Forsythe, have you? Lennox’ owners kept that one VERY quiet, aye?"
It’s evident from that comment Ms Gunther’s relationship with Alison Douglas isn’t as cosy as she makes out, because Ms Douglas would have told her that Madeleine Forsythe’s name and assessment was ‘kept quiet’ for legal reasons, as instructed by the court. Or perhaps Ms Gunther did know, but was just scoring another cheap point.
As for the rest of that post, it’s hardly worth bothering with. We all know that Lennox was ‘deemed highly unstable and aggressive‘ by extremely unreliable and, let’s face it, very dodgy sources. Enough said about that, for now.
And then there’s Bruce, whose owners ‘cooperated’ with Sarah Gunther. In other words, they did as they were told and she got her hands on the dog.
“HOW did a yard dog all of a sudden become a *therapy* dog? WHY had the solicitor dropped the case? WHY the need for donations when the whole case was funded by Free Legal Aid? WHY did the vet, who allegedly treated Lennox for hair loss, not testify, neither did the dog trainer they allegedly had? WHY did none of the neighbours testify on Lennox’s behaviour? WHY did the owner now say that her daughter was traumatised when the dog warden ripped the dog from her arms when she stated clearly in her email to EGAR that her daughter was in school?”
For starters, Gunther’s got a bloody cheek asking those questions. But considering she was seriously pissed off that her offer had been rejected, it makes sense.
As with pretty much everything the Hate Campaign churn out as ‘fact’, Gunther had no proof whatsoever that Lennox was a yard dog, that’s just pure spite; similarly the ‘therapy’ dog remark. In one instance on her blog Gunther is piqued because she wasn’t made aware of certain facts, so those facts she then decided were henceforth going to be called ‘lies’. Why the hell would the owners tell her what’s going on anyway?
The solicitor question has been answered previously, and as for donations and ‘the whole case was funded by Free Legal Aid‘, that’s another nasty HC lie, but quite how Gunther can claim to be privy to protected information is anyone’s guess.
Even if, as we all suspect, a certain BCC employee was leaking documents and information, she would not have access to those details. But, as usual, what the HC don’t know, they make up as they go along.
As you all know, there never was thousands and thousands received in donations, Caroline Barnes received only partial Legal Aid and David Ryan’s assessment was not covered by it. Anyone who says differently is a vindictive and malicious liar because there is no way those outside of the family, their legal team and people they choose to confide in can possibly have access to that privileged information. Not even a fake barrister or a dog warden.
The vet question is bizarre – why would a vet testify? Does Gunther think a vet would do that out of the goodness of their heart, and not charge a blinding hourly fee for the privilege?
The neighbours’ question is probably the daftest one to date, and she hasn’t shown any evidence for asking the last question (you can’t have failed to notice that, in spite of their claims never to bring the child into the mix, without fail they always manage to mention or allude to her in some way. Nice people.).
"**The dog wardens attended on 19 May 2010. One of the wardens, Ms Lightfoot, attempted to examine the dog in the kitchen. The dog was very agitated, barking and growling. The dog lunged at her head and hit her with his muzzle. She was unable to carry out the examination because the dog was repeatedly lunging at her. The applicant finally agreed that the dog wardens could take the dog and she placed the dog in the Council van.**
It took her months to gain Lennox’s trust and she was the one who handled the dog when the assessments were carried out. This was used against her in the following hate campaign against her person. Absolutely ludicrous."
Regarding the day Lennox was seized, at one point there were five adults in that kitchen, four of them strangers in uniform.
Ms Lightfoot testified that ‘the Appellant’s kitchen was neither small nor crowded‘ but it’s our understanding that the kitchen is not large at all and is narrow in shape. In other words, everyone in that room would have been in close proximity to each other, and we don’t know of any dog who is likely to be comfortable in that situation.
However, regarding the ‘lunge’ (that word they love to use for greater impact) and Lightfoot being ‘hit on the head’ by Lennox’s muzzle – another dog warden who was present on that occasion, on being questioned in court, pointed to her chest whilst physically describing how Ms Lightfoot was hit, and the other warden didn’t testify on that question at all. The police officer had already left prior to Lennox being removed from the house, so that just left the three dog wardens, one of which couldn’t seem to make up her mind where on Lightfoot’s body Lennox had made contact.
It always brings a wry smile, whenever we see statements like this: ‘It took her (Lightfoot) months to gain Lennox’s trust‘. Visual evidence says something entirely different, with Lightfoot looking extremely relaxed and comfortable in Lennox’s company virtually from the off (e.g. link), and what Ms Gunther means by ‘against her person‘ is anyone’s guess, but chances are she’s alluding to the unsubstantiated claims of physical harassment again. Absolutely ludicrous!
"Their own defence expert said in Court: ** On the other hand Mr David Ryan, on behalf of the applicant, in a report dated 16 March 2011 recorded that when he reached over the dog’s head to clip a line to the back of his collar in one m
ovement the dog lunged towards him, growled, barked and snapped.**"
Covered previously (link). This is another example of how Gunther and the rest of the HC prefer to take quotes out of context or, in this case, accidentally-on-purpose omit the rest of the statement, which is: ‘fortunately the dog did not bite Mr (Ryan) although he acknowledged that it could have done so if it had wanted to.‘.
Mr Ryan’s own report states: ‘in one movement he lunged towards me, growled, barked and snapped. He did not make.contact with me and returned to sit with Ms Lightfoot. As he did so, I again offered him cheese, which he took immediately in a relaxed manner‘.
The owner admitted in Court: **The applicant accepted that the dog was of the type known as a Pit Bull Terrier and that she was guilty of the offence of being the keeper of such a dog within Article 25A of the 1983 Order as amended. **"
Given Ms Gunther’s familiarity with BSL and court procedures, we’re surprised she’s bothered drawing attention to that. She knows full well the reason for the ‘applicant’s acceptance’ that the dog was type and, even so, her friends over at Deed not breed could no doubt explain the procedure to her.
But she’s pushing her luck expecting anyone to believe she’s unaware that agreeing with an assessment, pleading guilty to owning a banned type and cooperating with the courts would be the only way to get a dog like Lennox home, because it would then be based on temperament and, since Lennox had never had any complaints and no incidents had ever occurred, it should have been cut and dried.
Unfortunately, at the time, no one could have foreseen the likes of Tallack and Lightfoot making up stories about Lennox’s aggression, ensuring only one tragic outcome.
And finally to Sarah Gunther’s bullet point Q’s:
- ‘WHY was the petition signed by so many thousands never even presented to the Courts?’ Why does she think it wasn’t?
- ‘WHY neither, was any petition made to remove Lennox from the jurisdiction despite plenty of offers from various countries/organisations, not just EGAR.’ Already answered above.
- ‘And WHY the constant need for donations, when the whole case was funded by the taxpayer via Free Legal Aid?‘ Already answered above.
- ‘WHY are there no pictures of Lennox in the house as an adult (apart from a badly photo shopped one)?’ What makes her think there wasn’t? How could she know one way or another, ergo why is she stating it as ‘fact’? And where is her proof the image was photoshopped?
- ‘WHY did Craig Winters aka John Winters aka Micheal Hunter threaten another well known anti BSL organisation with terrorist organisations and spammed the EGAR wall with vile threats and ridiculous allegations?‘ Where is Gunther’s proof of all this? And why didn’t she just come out and name ‘Deed not Breed’? If she has no real involvement in it, or anyone connected to it, as she claims, why be so shy about using their title?
- ‘WHY did the owner never sent any treats or bedding to Lennox? EVER..?’ Another mindless and vindictive HC lie. So did this one originate from Gunther herself or is she just spreading gossip quoted by others? Where is her proof? Perhaps she’s referring to the dog a certain BCC employee passed off as Lennox claiming him to be so starved of toys a member of the HC sent him a few so the BCC employee could photograph the dog playing with them (link).
- ‘WHY did they not ring the dog warden to enquire about their dog?’ Which ‘dog warden’? Would that be the dog warden whose lie was dismissed in court because her colleague couldn’t back it up? The same dog warden who said Lennox was ‘aggressive’ when she knew damn well he wasn’t? The same dog warden who was photographed outside the owners’ property when she was allegedly on ‘indefinite leave’?
- ‘And WHY did he say in Court: *Ms Barnes’ partner told the dog wardens that the dog would “rip your head off” if approached**’. Ms Gunther seems to be getting confused with her use of the word ‘he’ (and so are we). She should ask her friends who were in court on a particular day what happened when Lightfoot testified that Craig Winters had allegedly told her ‘the dog will rip your head off‘. As those friends will recall, the dog warden who accompanied Lightfoot that day testified under oath that she did not hear those words and ‘could not recall them being spoken’. In fact that little piece of evidence from Lightfoot was disallowed. It’s probably a shame to burst that particular HC balloon but they’ve had more than enough mileage out of it already.
Before we go….
"PS. NONE of us were against Lennox to suggest otherwise is ludicrous, we are, however, anti lies and deception. And to those who direct their energy towards threats, violence and untruths: there are countless dogs like Lennox in the Pound, if you want to do something CONSTRUCTIVE then we strongly suggest you help them and lobby the government in the UK to abolish BSL."
Unfortunately for Ms Gunther, protestations about being onside with Lennox don’t hold water any more owing to the content of her blog.
Same goes for the ‘anti-lies and deception’ claims, which are laughable given her track record, particularly on the blog.
We couldn’t agree more with her final sentiment, it’s just a pity she didn’t take her own advice. All that time spent bitching about Lennox’s owners, blogging about it and posting on Facebook could have been used wisely and productively from an anti-BSL point of view.