Last month, Hank an English Staffy crossed with a Labrador was seized from his owners by council bosses as a suspected pit-bull type animal.
Distraught, Leonard Collins and Joanne Meadows said they felt like they had lost their ‘first baby’. They had to do something to save him.
1. They started a petition
More than 295,000 people signed it, calling for the two-and-a-half-year-old pup’s life to be spared.
2. Their supporters wrote letters
Around 7,000 animal lovers across the globe penned letters to Belfast City Council demanding they #SaveHank from the death penalty. They also sent dog treats. How could the council refuse?
3. They staged a Facebook takeover
The council took its time to respond so Hank’s supporters took to the authority’s Facebook page, posting comments, tearful emojis and pics of their pets which helped get #SaveHank trending for a day above Michelle Obama and Melania Trump!
4. They crowdfunded
They raised over £19,000 cash - more than their £15,000 target, to pay for a possible legal battle against the council’s decision.
5. The media wrote about it
Leonard and Joanne turned into unassuming media stars overnight with their story filling web pages, column inches, and appearances on radio, and TV.
6. Animals showed their solidarity
Pets from all over the world posed for pictures to show their support for a fellow furry friend in his time of need.
7. They’re now campaigning to save others
The couple are “delighted” and “over the moon” with the outcome of their campaign and “overwhelmed and grateful” for the public’s support. Leonard said: "He's my best friend and it'll mean so much to have him home”.
Now they’re campaigning to change laws so dogs at risk of being miscategorised as the wrong breed are safe. You can sign their petition here