Loukanikos dead: News of Greek riot dog's death prompts outpouring of tributes

Loukanikos was often pictured at front line of protests

Loukanikos, the much-loved Greek riot dog who became internationally famous for appearing on the front line of anti-austerity protests in Greece, has sadly passed away.

Greek media reports that Loukanikos, or ‘Sausage’ in English, died two years after he retired from protests in Athens.

The canine became a symbol of resistance in Greece after he was pictured facing off with riot police and surrounded by tear gas during various demonstrations.

Protesters said he would often stand with them during bouts of unrest and protect people by grabbing tear gas canisters and pushing them away.

Loukanikos caused particular delight when he was seen holding his own with a policeman before running up and down the city's main boulevard and relieving himself.

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However, his health was said to have been severely affected by the tear gas and he eventually retired as the Eurozone protests began to ease, where he was cared for by an Athens man.

Athen's-based journalist Damian Mac Con Uladh said Loukanikos died peacefully. He was believed to have been aged about ten-years-old.

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News of his death prompted an outpouring of tributes to Loukanikos on Twitter. One user wrote: RIP Loukanikos - you'll always be remembered little comrade!

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