A Lafayette toy poodle who gained international fame when his owner registered him to vote has died, his owners said.

Barney died Oct. 5, said Cynthia Anderson, whose parents owned the dog. He was in relatively good condition until about six months ago, when his health began to decline, said Reba Miller, Anderson's mother.

Barney drew the eye of the world — and the ire of the Contra Costa County elections office — when owner Donald Miller registered him to vote as a Republican under the name Barnabas R. Miller. Donald Miller, who passed away in 2007, said at the time he was trying to draw attention to gaps in the voter registration process.

County and state officials didn't find the situation humorous and the court slapped Miller with a $250 fine.

Reba Miller said Donald enjoyed the attention from local, national and international media brought on by Barney's sudden sense of civic duty.

"He had a call from Tokyo, Japan about the voting dog," she said.

Miller said Barney was "a prince" and that he would have been 17 years old in December.