Winston, the mixed-breed dog who became an international celebrity after he attacked a city patrol car, has died.
His owner said on her Facebook account, "It is with a very heavy heart that I must let you know that Winston passed away last night. Apparently he had a fairly rare heart condition where the muscle around his heart was too thick."
Winston became famous after a video of his attack outside a business on Workman Road off Rossville Boulevard went worldwide on YouTube. The story was carried on many major news outlets.
Winston had been summoned to City Court in March for possible designation as a "dangerous dog."
To the applause of many, a deal was worked out in which the Emerling family got to keep Winston at their Mann Welding Company.
Michael Emerling said at the time, "We'll make sure that Winston doesn't get out. We will use a chain on the fence rather than a nylon cord."
The case in which McKamey Animal Trust had asked that Winston be declared a potentially dangerous dog was passed for six months on Winston's "good behavior."
But the case was treated as if he had been declared a potentially dangerous dog. The owners were required to take Winston through two obedience classes.
The family picked up Winston from the McKamey Center shortly after the court appearance.
Karen Walsh, McKamey Center executive director, at the time said she was glad the case has this resolution and that the owners had taken responsibility for Winston.
She said, "Winston was reserved when he first got to the center. But he has settled down and been playing around."
Judge Sherry Paty had cautioned the Emerlings that there could not be a repeat incident like the one that gained worldwide publicity.
She said it would have been devastating had the attack been on a person - especially a child.
The judge said, "I don't even want the remote possibility of that happening."
In the incident, an officer was running radar on Workman Road when Winston charged out through the gate and began shaking the patrol car. Winston munched on the tires and ate the front bumper.
He also attacked other patrol cars that were called in as backup.
Officers tried to pepper spray Winston, then to tase him, but nothing calmed him down.
Michael Emerling said the family is grateful that the officers did not shoot Winston. He said, "In other areas near here, police have shot dogs for much less."
Mr. Emerling said Winston showed up as a stray at the welding business when he was about two months old in October 2008.
He said he had never showed such aggressiveness. He said, "We had no idea. If we had, we would have taken steps to make sure he could not have gotten out."