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Llots of llove for Lloyd: 'The most famous dog in Niagara County' greets his fans at Fashion Outlets mall

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Lloyd Dog Walk (copy)

Jillian MacDonell gets a kiss from Lloyd the dog as he's greeted Wednesday by people at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA.

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When you’re a local celebrity, you greet your fans by making a grand entrance.

And the case was no different for Lloyd the Pitbull Wednesday morning when he entered the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, USA.

Lloyd, who is embracing his moniker as “the most famous dog in Niagara County,” is a 12-year-old pitbull who came to the Niagara County SPCA as a stray on July 5.

When he was given a medical examination, veterinarians diagnosed him with end-stage renal failure and a tumor on his back leg. Liz Marshall, the SPCA's director of marketing and events said Lloyd was given only months to live. 

Determined to give Lloyd a great time during his last days, the SPCA has taken him throughout Niagara County on a series of “bucket list” adventures and documented it on social media. 

"All we knew is he had life to live, and we wanted to give him the best," Marshall said.

Lloyd soon went viral, and found a lot of fans across the region. As the Niagara County SPCA began posting daily updates about Lloyd, officials received numerous calls from people wanting to spend the day with him and help the shelter.

"We were actually blown away. Within a day, our email had over 100 inquiries about Lloyd," Marshall said. "We were amazed with how many people would show up to take a selfie with him at public events."

Through proper care and a new diet, Lloyd has made a health transformation. According to Marshall, his veterinarians have noted that although he still suffers chronic symptoms, Lloyd is "going nowhere."

Since his rise to stardom, Lloyd has become a forever foster at SPCA and brings awareness to elderly rescue dogs. He also piloted the SPCA's new "Make a Shelter Dog's Day" program that allows community members to spend a day with shelter animals.

Lloyd also has been named an honorary firefighter and has a cookie named after him at Oh Sugar in Lockport. He also has taken a spin in a Jaguar convertible in Williamsville and toured the Aquarium of Niagara.

Last week, Lloyd received one of the highest honors in Niagara County when the Legislature declared Aug. 3 as “Lloyd Day.”

Despite his suddenly-packed calendar, Lloyd was able to find time for selfies with his fans Wednesday and there were plenty who were there when he checked “a mall walk” off his bucket list.

“This was all brought about by our general manager who is a pet lover,” said Susie Swiatkowski, a Fashion Outlets spokesperson. “He has a dog at home, and the story of Lloyd really just warmed his heart."

Lloyd arrived at the mall to see a collection of natural peanut butter, spray cheese, food, toys, blankets, and other treats waiting for him. The items were donated by mall guests and employees. 

A group of fans gathered to watch as he rummaged through the gifts. Melissa Palesh, an employee at Ardene, was part of the group and says she was excited to see Lloyd in person.

“I’ve seen him on Facebook and Instagram. When I first heard the story, it really touched my heart,” Palesh said. “I mean we talk about all the time how we wish could rescue or have houses big enough to rescue every dog that we love and see.”

Jillian MacDonell, another Ardene employee and Lloyd fan, says that his story makes her emotional and made this opportunity even more important.

“I love dogs. Just to be able to give a dog some love who may have not known it means a lot,” MacDonell said.

After greeting more fans, Lloyd seemed to become lethargic and made his goodbyes. While he left a lasting impression on his fans, it was just an average day for a local celebrity.

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Intern Reporter

I am from Jackson, Mississippi and a sophomore at Xavier University of Louisiana studying Mass Communication with a concentration in multimedia. I also am studying Political Science as a minor.

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