Brian Griffin death: Family Guy fans launch 'Bring Back Brian' petition

Sunday's episode prompted outrage after the pet dog was hit by a car

Fans of animated comedy series Family Guy were left reeling after the Griffins' much-loved pet dog Brian was hit by a car and killed during Sunday's episode.

But now avid viewer Aaron Thompson has launched an online petition to resurrect the Seth MacFarlane's animal star from his untimely grave.

Over 27,000 fans have pledged their support on change.org while another 309,000 have joined the 'R.I.P Brian Griffin from Family Guy' page on Facebook.

The change.org online petition states: "The writers of Family Guy didn't just kill off one of their creations, they killed off the dog who has lived in our homes for the last 15 years. They killed the dog we all have come to love. They killed America's dog!"

The petition paid tribute to the "witty and sophisticated element" that Brian had brought to the show and described him as "an important part of our viewing experience". "Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffiin is not brought back," Thompson wrote.

Brian was a talking pet dog who enjoyed an alcoholic drink, dated women and aspired to be a novelist. He had featured in more than 200 episodes of the long-running show since its run began in 1999.

Upset fans flooded Twitter with messages of sadness after Brian uttered his final words: "You've given me a wonderful life. I love you all."

Yet while viewers grieved the fictitious dog, the Griffin family seemed to moved on. New tough-talking dog Vinny, voiced by Tony Sirico of The Sopranos, was adopted before the end of the episode, sparking yet more outrage from fans.

Despite the backlash, executive producer Steve Callaghan is confident that Family Guy fans will warm to the new character in time.

"Our fans are smart enough and have been loyal to our show for long enough to know that they can trust us," he told E!. "We always make choices that work to the greatest benefit of the series."

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