5 Biggest Stories About Pets in 2012

A high-profile dog death, a recall scare, a couple of new Internet memes, and dogs that can drive — they all made my list of the year’s biggest pet stories.

1. The Death of Lennox

Lennox

An outcry heard around the world wasn’t enough to halt the government-ordered execution of a dog based solely on his looks this summer.

In July 2012, the owners of a pug-nosed dog named Lennox in Belfast, Northern Ireland, lost a two-year-long battle with the city council. Officials claimed Lennox was a dangerous “pit bull-type dog,” though the dog’s family said he had never bitten anyone. The United Kingdom has a ban on pit bulls.

A global “Save Lennox” campaign mobilized more than 200,000 people, who had hoped for a last-minute reprieve. Sadly, Lennox was killed by the city of Belfast, and the family claims they weren’t allowed an opportunity to say goodbye or to collect his body.

Lennox will surely go down as one of the most high-profile victims of breed-specific legislation.

2. All Hail Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat

Unless you were living under some sort of digital rock, you saw photos online of a certain grumpy-looking mixed-breed kitten named Tard (short for Tardar Sauce).

Yes, at 9 months old, Tard is still a kitten, though she looks older in photos. Visit the official Grumpy Cat blog.

3. Dogs Trained to Drive a Car

It took two months of work (and a whole lot of treats), but this year dogs took a huge leap for canine-kind when two mutts were trained to drive a specially equipped car.

Don’t believe me? Watch this video of the dogs using their front paws to steer.

4. A New Wave of Pet Food Recalls

Concerned pet owners watched as recall after recall was announced in early 2012 stemming from problems at a Diamond Pet Foods manufacturing facility. In all, eight recalls from Diamond led to products from more than a dozen brands being pulled from the shelves because of concerns about salmonella.

Meanwhile, there still has been no official recall of certain jerky treats imported from China that are suspected of sickening more than 2,200 and killing at least 361 dogs and cats in the United States. The FDA says it can’t take action until a definitive cause is found.

Be sure to follow the latest pet food recalls right here at Pets Adviser.

5. Pet Shaming Catches On — But Why?

As if we didn’t have enough photos of our pets online, now we need to hang a sign around their necks and embarrass them publicly. The “pet shaming” craze of 2012 was all about pets behaving badly — and getting called out on it.

Other big stories of the year:

What big stories about pets did I miss? Tell me in the comments below.

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