Singer shares heartbreaking news with fans

It's been a sad day for Justin Bieber.

As any animal lover will know, a pet can be a hugely important part of the family – and so the singer was understandably devastated to say goodbye to his childhood dog Sammy today.

The 20-year-old shared a sweet throwback snap on Instagram of him and the gorgeous pup, with the caption, "R.i.p Sammy, you were the best puppy ever."

Two cuties!

Sammy had been living with Justin's grandparents in Ontario, Canada for the last few years, but Justin had grown up with him at home. Fans were quick to console Justin and express their sadness at the pup's passing, with the hashtag #RIPSammy trending on Twitter today.

"Rest peacefully baby boy actually so upset about this huge loss #RIPSammy love you," wrote one fan, with another adding, "He literally grew up with Justin. This is so sad. #RIPSammy."

While Sammy did appear to be a very loved family member, Bieb's track record of recent pet ownership has not been great.

The singer was criticised by animal rights groups for taking a capuchin monkey named Mally on tour with him last year and promptly forgetting about him after he was seized by German customs officers.

Justin apparently failed to present the proper vaccination paperwork for the creature, but later failed to collect his pet or send on the relevant documents. Mally was eventually moved to an animal park near Hanover.

The star also spontaneously purchased a bulldog puppy as a gift for his dad Jeremy, before leaving him in the care of dog trainer Trevor Dvernichuk and never returning.

We hope Sammy had better care than that in the last few years of his life…