Al Roker and His Family Mourns the Death of Their 'Sweet' Dog: 'Pepper Changed Our Lives'

Al Roker’s family adopted Pepper in 2012

<p>Al Roker/Instagram</p> Al Roker and Pepper

Al Roker/Instagram

Al Roker and Pepper

Al Roker’s beloved dog, Pepper, has died. The curly-haired dog was 12 years old.

On Tuesday, June 11, the Today show weather anchor and co-host revealed that his pet died on Monday, June 10. Pepper had previously underwent emergency surgery weeks before.

“12 years ago, this sweet little girl named Pepper changed our lives,” Roker, 69, wrote on Instagram, sharing a video filled with sweet memories of Pepper. He added, “Yesterday, we had to say goodbye. While our hearts are heavy, they are also fuller because of all the love she bestowed on everyone who got to meet her.”

His wife, ABC News Journalist Deborah Roberts, also paid tribute to Pepper on Instagram. “Today I woke up to a world without her. A quiet house. Her toys and beds still. Yet, Her warmth still lingering,” Roberts, 63, wrote.

“Our hearts are aching. But wow. What beautiful gift of memories she gave. We miss you dear Pep!” she continued.

Related: Al Roker's Silliest and Sweetest Throwback Photos Through the Years

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Pepper previously underwent emergency surgery in May 2024, causing Roker to miss the Today show. He posted on Instagram that she was on the mend. “She’s getting great care and is coming home tomorrow. Woof." he wrote, adding, "You can sleep on our bed as much as you want."

In 2012, Roker and his family adopted Pepper when she was only 10 weeks old from the Main Line Animal Rescue, located outside of Philadelphia. Roker never expected to fall in love with a dog, but then he met Pepper.

Related: Al Roker's Today Co-Hosts Celebrate His 45th Anniversary at NBC: 'You Are the Beating Heart of This Show'

“I always made fun of the people with those little rat dogs, but the great thing about Pepper is she’s small, but she has a big personality,” Roker told PEOPLE exclusively in 2019. “She runs, she chases stuff, she plays fetch.”

“She’s not a lap dog, but you rub her belly and she’s yours,” he added. “She’s the perfect dog.”

Roker also called Pepper a “one-in-a-million” dog. “She’s pretty quiet, but she’s got a good personality. She’s not too big, not too small. She’s like the Goldilocks dog. She’s just right.”

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