The Celebrity Pets We Lost in 2020
Celebs' beloved sidekicks who are gone, but not forgotten
"Everyone I know is healthy, people wise," McCarthy said when asked how she's holding up amid the COVID-19 pandemic, before sharing the sad news of her dog's death.
"My dog just passed, which I don't want to talk about," she said, "but that was one of the hardest things I've had to go through this year."
"She was like a daughter to me," McCarthy added of her late canine. While she didn't specify the name of her dog, McCarthy and husband Donnie Wahlberg have been pet owners to French bulldog Lumpy and black Shih Tzu's Gunner and DJ, according to The Daily Mail, before adding Pomeranian puppies Drogon and Nymeria in January 2019.
Kaley Cuoco & Karl Cook's Dog Petunia
Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook are mourning the loss of their dog, Petunia. The pair announced in posts on their respective Instagrams on Nov. 25 that their beloved pet, who they adopted as a senior, had died.
"After a life of untold loneliness and hardship, she is at rest. For that, I am happy," Cook wrote in a touching post. "We did what we [could], adopted Petunia to do better than anyone else, give her everything."
"She is resting at peace, with everyday's sunset to warm her. That is what matters most," Cook continued. "Petunia, it is not the amount of time together, but it's [the] affects on the soul. You affected everyone who met you."
"You’re forever my old lady😭😘😍 I miss you so much already, sleep my sweet angel❤️❤️❤️" he added beside a series of photos and videos with the pup.
Cuoco also memorialized Petunia on her Instagram Stories, giving a shout out to Paws For Life K9 Rescue, the nonprofit that initially rescued Petunia and where the couple adopted her from.
"We were so honored to love her in her final days," Cuoco wrote. "We love you dear special Petunia. You are the reason we continue to save dogs just like you. And we will never stop."
Prince William & Kate Middleton's Dog Lupo
“Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away. He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much. - W & C,” they wrote on social media, alongside a photo of the adorable black cocker spaniel.
“It is with great sadness that Lupo, the beloved dog of my sister Catherine and her family has passed away. Lupo was the son of Ella, brother to Zulu, Inka & Luna,” James, 33, wrote. “Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog. For those who have never had a dog, it might be hard to understand the loss. However for those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist.”
Continuing, he wrote, “There isn’t much of a rule book on how to grieve for a dog, but I’ve said a prayer, lit a candle and taken Ella (Mum) for a long walk to spend time remembering Lupo. Rest in peace Lupo. Tilly & Mini will be waiting for you. You will always be remembered and your legacy will live on forever. Good Boy 🐾.”
Jason & Brittany Aldean's Chameleon Elvis
Just two months after welcoming the reptile into their family, the Aldean's pet chameleon has died, Brittany announced on Nov. 2.
The couple decided to put down Elvis (who they originally thought was male, but turned out to be female) when she started to suffer after laying several eggs on Nov. 1.
"I did want to hop on here for a second and just let you guys know that Elvis is no longer with us," the 33-year-old said on her Instagram Story. "She ended up doing really bad last night after she laid her eggs. I knew something was off, so long story short, we took her to the vet this morning and we ended up having to put her down."
"I know it's just a chameleon but I get very attached to my animals," she said at the end of the video. "Thank you guys so much for thinking about her. She's eating all the crickets in heaven right now."
Miranda Lambert's Dog Waylon
The country singer revealed the loss of her beloved dog Waylon on Oct. 22, after almost 13 years together.
"Today I lost one of my best friends. My old pal Waylon," Lambert wrote at the start of her heartbreaking Instagram tribute, alongside a collection of photos featuring Waylon and his sister Jessi over the years.
Lambert recounted how she found Waylon as just a pup on the side of the road in Oklahoma in January 2008, calling the dog "a rock in our family" who "always held down the fort" and "lived his life with no fences. The way we all want to live."
She added, "I'm so thankful for the time we had with him and I'm thankful for the rest of the time we have with his sister Jessi."
Lambert said she was "so glad" that her husband, Brendan McLoughlin, "got to know" the Golden Retriever "in his final years."
"We are heartbroken but happy that he is running across the rainbow bridge right now and will be waiting for us when we get there. 🌈," she added. "Dogs change your life. The bond is something that can't be described unless you have lived it."
Reese Witherspoon's Dog Pepper
Reese Witherspoon is mourning the loss of her French bulldog, Pepper. The actress's daughter, Ava Phillippe shared that Pepper died on Oct. 19 from "aggressive cancer," and shared several photos of the beloved family pet.
Witherspoon wrote on Instagram, "Our sweet Pepper passed away yesterday. My goodness, she was such a loyal and devoted family member. I am so heart broken, but I am also deeply grateful for all the love and comfort she brought our family. Now she’s in dog heaven where all great pets go. Chasing tennis balls, running through open fields of wild flowers and being the Queen that she is. That’s what I believe. 🎾🌸 👑 We will always love you, Pepper."
D’Andra Simmons’ Dog Dixie
The Real Housewives of Dallas star's pup died at the age of 14 while Simmons was out of town, according to a recent press release. The reality star adopted the Brussels Griffon dog in 2008 alongside littermate Gypsy, who died earlier this year.
“Dixie was my loyal companion and truly Mommy’s little dog. She loved her Mommy and was constantly by my side,” Simmons said in the release. “She slept next to me for almost 13 years right next to my ribs, and she was always in the chair with me in my home salon when I was getting my hair and makeup done for RHOD.”
She continued: “She comforted me through tragedies and triumphs. She cried with me when my father, Glenn Simmons, passed, and was excited to meet the new ‘man in my life; Jeremy Lock, when I first introduced him to the ‘girls’ as I called her and her sister, Gypsy. She was excited when Jeremy came to live with us permanently and she had a Daddy. She loved her ‘Mimi’ Momma Dee Simmons and always greeted her with great enthusiasm.”
“I miss her terribly and I will for the rest of my life,” Simmons said of Dixie, who she would often dress up to reflect her own love of fashion. “Because I did not have children of my own, she was my child and my sweet baby girl. Rest in Peace little Dixie, you gave me many years of continuous joy, happiness and love.”
Kristen Bell's Dog Barbara
The Good Place star revealed on Oct. 9 that she and her family were saying goodbye to their beloved pooch after Barbara fell ill with an intestinal infection.
"Our beautiful @barbarabiscuits got sick this weekend. Vet diagnosed Giardia, and it looked like for a while like Barb was gonna pull through," she began in a series of posts on her Instagram Stories. "Even though Barb is a (gorgeous) fighter, shes gone septic and her lil body doesn't look like it's gonna pull through."
"On our way now to say goodbye," Bell wrote alongside an emotional selfie. "Trying to stay super grateful for the 2 years we got to spoil her like the Queen that she is."
The actress also thanked The Dog Cafe in Los Angeles for "bringing her into our lives" before sharing some photos from the veterinary clinic.
Gretchen Rossi's Dog Vito
The Real Housewives of Orange County alum revealed on Instagram that her beloved dog Vito has died. She shared photos of her final moments with Vito alongside pictures of the pup throughout the years.
"Tonight we lost one of our family members 💔 Our sweet Vito man (as I liked to call him) I have had Vito for almost two decades. He was going to turn 18yrs old in just a few days; these first two pics are my last moments with my baby tonight," she wrote on July 27.
"This little boy of mine has been with me for almost half of my life, so this loss is very hard on me. He has been with me through some of the hardest times of my life and some of the most amazing times of my life."
According to the star, Vito was there for her during her divorce with ex Chris Rossi, as well as when late fiancé Jeff Beitzel died of leukemia in 2008.
"Vito, a huge hole has been left in our hearts, but I know I will see you again on Rainbow bridge & I’m so glad you get to be reunited with your brother Rocco-Bear there. 🙏🏻" she continued. "We love you so very much and will miss you terribly. Rest in Peace my sweet Vito-Man 🙏🏻❤️"
Michelle Pfeiffer's Dog Freddie
Katy Perry's Cat Kitty Purry
The singer announced on Instagram that her furry companion had gone to “catnip heaven” on April 19.
“Kitty Purry crawled through my then-boyfriend’s window 15 years ago, fully pregnant and seeking shelter. Two litters and many moons later, this street cat became a lovable mascot to many,” Perry wrote on Instagram, alongside a series of throwback photos of the star holding her cat in her arms.
“Sadly, Kitty completed her 9th life last night. I hope she rests in salmon fillets and tuna tartare way up in catnip heaven,” she continued. “Kitty, thanks for the cuddles and companionship along the way. Big thanks to my brother David and @garethwalters for being great co-parents 💔 #kittypurryforever.”
Shawn Booth's Dog Tucker
The former contestant, shared the sad news that Tucker had died on Instagram April 16. “With the heaviest heart I’ve ever had, I wanted to let you guys know that I lost my best friend today,” Booth began his heartbreaking caption. “Tucker passed peacefully in my arms and in the comfort of our backyard.”
“I poured every ounce of my heart into him and he gave me his entire heart right back,” he continued. “I’ve never loved anything more and he was the best boy I could ever ask for. I was the luckiest person in the world to have him by my side for 11+ years. I already miss him so much.”
Booth ended his touching tribute with a quote addressing the golden retriever that read, "'If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever,'" and shared an image of himself holding Tucker’s paw to his Instagram Story.
Kaley Cuoco's Dwarf Pony Fiona
The Big Bang Theory alum announced on Instagram that the dwarf pony, she and husband Karl Cook adopted as a rescue, died on March 29.
“After a very short time together, our precious dwarf pony rescue Fiona, passed away last night. she came to us & @pomponioranch @mrtankcook in such terrible shape, we were thrilled we got any time with her at all,” Cuoco began in her post, sharing several professional portraits of the pony taken shortly before her death.
The actress went on to caution fans that while dwarf ponies may look cute, they often suffer from health issues and “should not be bred this way.”
“Let me make this very clear.. there is a reason she was a rescue. We take on many of these dwarf ponies and it looks so cute and exciting that everyone wants one. It’s not,” she wrote. “They have severe medical issues and most have been completely mistreated and not taken care of.”
Cuoco continued, “Fiona was a prime example: she came to us malnourished, horrible feet, rotting teeth, she needed help to stand every morning and that’s just the beginning. These animals should not live this way and should not be bred this way. It’s WRONG.”
“We did all we could but her small body could not survive. She no longer has to live in pain and she passed away covered in blankets surrounded with love,” she added, before thanking Cook and other animal advocates for helping take care of Fiona in her final days. “We will continue to save everything we can but know days like this will happen. ♥️ we love you princess Fiona!!”
Game of Thrones Star Odin
The Inuit dog, who portrayed Bran Stark’s direwolf in the first season of the HBO series, died from cancer, his family announced on March 26.
“Our family are at immense heartbreak to announce that Odin passed away early this morning,” Odin’s owners shared on Instagram.
“It’s difficult to put into words how this has impacted us as a family for Odin lead a life like no other dog. Odin was a family member first and we got him when he was a pup at 7 weeks old all we wanted were big dogs to take hiking and to sleep at our feet in the evening beside the fire, everything after that was a bonus,” the family’s statement continued.
Odin’s family said that they “take great comfort in knowing that he is forever immortalized in the great TV Show Game of Thrones."
“To everyone that was lucky enough to meet him and put a smile on your face please remember that moment. It’s an incredible piece of luck to have a pet you love so well become world famous and touch so many peoples hearts,” the family said.
Modern Family Star Beatrice
A spokesperson for Good Dog Animals did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In 2017, Beatrice’s owners Guin and Steve Solomon spoke with the blog, Bodie on the Road, about spending time on the set of Modern Family.
“Ed O’Neill is in love with her! It’s very easy working with him because he brings Beatrice treats like popcorn and always looks out for her,” Guin said. “We’ll be doing scenes in the backyard by the pool and in between takes he’ll say, ‘Would you please get Beatrice an umbrella, she’s in the sun!’ “
Beatrice was first introduced as Stella in season 4 after she replaced predecessor Brigitte, a fellow French bulldog and dog actress.
Ricky Gervais' Cat Ollie
"Just had to say goodbye to the sweetest little soul I’ve ever known," the comedian tweeted in honor of his late cat, who died on March 10.
"RIP Ollie," he added.
Marnie the Dog
The beloved internet sensation died at her owner's home on March 5 at the age of 18.
In an emotional post, Marnie’s owner, Shirley Braha, updated her 1.8 million followers with the news that Marnie had “passed away painlessly & peacefully” after her “comfort had been notably declining over the past few days.”
Braha explained that Marnie “let me know she had had enough” and “enjoyed her chicken until the very end.”
Not only has the adorable Shih Tzu touched the hearts of millions online, her owner shared that she also opened doors for other senior dogs to be adopted.
“Most of all, I’m amazed that the sweet little hot mess of a pup that I picked up from a shelter at age 11, who at first didn’t seem like she would be around very long at all, has managed to inspire others to adopt senior dogs,” Braha wrote on Instagram.
“When I hear from people that Marnie has made them adopt their senior dogs it’s truly the most beautiful legacy she and I could hope to leave in this world,” she added.
According to Braha’s post, Marnie will be buried in a pet cemetery in her native home of Los Angeles.
Laura Dern's Fish
The actress mourned the death of her pet fish, whom she had for a staggering 14 years. Dern shared the news on Instagram on March 3, writing, "RIP to our amazing goldfish we loved so much. 14 YEARS!!!!!!!!"
Several of Dern’s followers commented about her fish’s impressive lifespan and expressed their condolences.
“I am so sorry..I had mine for 7 and I was devastated when they passed. You were a good goldfish mom♥️,” wrote one fan.
"I understand! My betta lived til almost 5 and sobbed like a baby - sorry for your loss," another wrote.
Paula Abdul's Dogs Tinkerbell & Charity
“This last week, I lost two of my precious angels," the singer wrote on Instagram on March 2 of her two dogs.
“A big piece of my heart is missing,” she continued. “So grateful to have been their Mommy and for all the unconditional love they gave me for all these years.”
Abdul added, “It’s amazing the kind of love a dog provides- it’s truly a gift from God. ♥️🙏🏼”
The deaths come just weeks after news that Abdul — who also owns a dog named Bessie Moo — had adopted a Chihuahua puppy named Nemo from Pet Matchmaker Rescue, an animal shelter based in Bakersfield, California.
Colton Underwood's Dog Sniper
The former Bachelor star announced on Instagram on Feb. 19 that his "best friend" died.
"Today i said goodbye to Sniper. he was my boy, my buddy and my best friend," Underwood began. "i want to thank you for always being there for me. for getting me through some of the darkest times in my life. for always making me smile no matter what was going on in life. for finishing my left overs. for taking the blame of so many farts when Cassie and i started dating. for always looking at me with love in your eyes."
"i love and miss you already buddy," he added. "i promise to be the man you think i am. everyday. 🐾♥️"
Underwood's girlfriend Cassie Randolph also shared an Instagram tribute, writing that there is a “hole in our hearts,” along with posting a photo of herself curled up under the covers with Sniper.
The Cleveland Browns' Mascot Swagger
The NFL team's first-ever live mascot died on Feb. 7 at 6 years old. The Browns announced the sad news on their website, sharing that the 145-lb. bullmastiff passed after battling cancer over the past year.
Swagger first joined the Browns as a puppy at the start of the 2014 NFL season. He made regular appearances on Dawg Pound Drive and events throughout the community.
“Swagger ran through the tunnel at every Browns game at FirstEnergy Stadium from 2014 to the midpoint of the 2019 season,” the website states.
Swagger’s role with the Browns became a family affair after his son SJ “took over for him in Week 10 of the 2019 season.”
SJ will continue to represent the team “into 2020 and beyond,” according to the website.
Ellen DeGeneres' Cat Charlie
"One of the hardest decisions to make but so glad we could end her suffering," she concluded.
DeGeneres' followers shared their support by replying to her tweet with their own experiences with their beloved pets' passings.
"Im so sorry. We had to put our lovely Archie to sleep this week and my family and I are [sad]. His passing has just left an enormous hole in our lives x," one social media user wrote alongside a photo of their dog.
"We had to say goodbye to Mr Tabby today too. Such a hard thing to do but between hello and goodbye there was a lot of love," another wrote alongside a photo of their cat.
Denise Richards' Dog Louie
“Heartbroken💔,” she began. “Came home from Spain to say goodbye to our Louie…. did everything to keep him here. Sadly for us, it was his time to cross the rainbow 🌈 bridge.”
“I’m so grateful he waited until I got home so I could be with him,” she wrote. “I know he’s now with some of his siblings & his nana (my mom) but it still hurts.”
Richards concluded: “Louie you are so loved & will be missed terribly. Thank you for blessing us with your unconditional love & effervescent beautiful spirit my ❤️..”