ANIMAL lovers set up an internet memorial for only the second dog destroyed on Harrow Council's behalf in more than half a decade.
Users of social networking site Facebook and messaging site Twitter posted Rest In Peace messages after campaigners tried unsuccessfully to stop ownerless William - found on the streets two weeks ago - being put down at 3pm at kennels in Hertfordshire on Friday.
Harrow Council said there was no option but to put it to sleep because a Metropolitan Police dog assessor has classified the stray as a Pit Bill Terrier and because it was unregistered the animal could not be legally owned, rehomed, sold or gifted.
However, canine enthusiasts who want breed-specific legislation (BSL) repealed had tried to lobby the council to commission an independent assessor to determine whether William was a dangerous breed and one, calling herself Angi LaLa End Bsl, organised a peaceful virtually protest group than became the memorial page.
She wrote: "As many of our supporters will know, William was condemned to death, following an assessment in which it was decided that he was 'of pitbull type'.
"This was despite the officer who first met him and the kennels both stating that they did not feel he was a banned breed. William was described as being a friendly sweet boy with a sound temperament.
"We had been in negotiations with the environmental health team at Harrow Council for the past few days, trying to persuade them to allow a William to have a second assessment with the country's foremost expert on dangerous dogs- someone who was eminently well qualified to examine cases such as this - yet they refused to allow a second assessor to see William. Why?
"We are asking people to contact Harrow Council to express their dismay and outrage at this decision.
"William must not die in vain. We will remember him. We will be his voice."
A council spokeswoman said the authority appreciated William's case was "a very upsetting situation".
She said: "In the last six years, the council has only had to do this on one other occasion and this was not a decision taken lightly.
"Unfortunately our hands were tied due to government legislation around the Dangerous Dogs Act and this is a course of action that we had to take.
"It is illegal to own a Pit Bull Terrier unless it has been registered with an owner, nor can the dog be re-homed, sold or gifted. Regrettably, this was the only viable option for a Pit Bull Terrier under these circumstances.
"We have every confidence in the Met Police assessors and there are no outstanding questions over what took place and therefore no reason why further assessment should have been commissioned.
"We have done all that is reasonably possible to ensure the correct legal procedure is followed. We suggest that anyone who feels strongly about this issue should contact the government around the legalities concerning unregistered Pit Bull Terriers."