Synopsis by Mark Deming
The mysterious and unnamed state in which the city of Springfield is located has instituted a lottery, and with the jackpot at a new high, everyone in town has developed lottery fever, including Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta). However, while Homer, his wife, Marge (voice of Julie Kavner), and their children, Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith), and Maggie, await the winning lottery numbers on TV, they don't notice that their dog, Santa's Little Helper, has fallen ill. After the dog passes out, the family rushes him to the veterinarian, who informs the Simpsons that an operation costing 750 dollars will be necessary to save the dog's life. Feeling that they must save a member of the family, the Simpsons bite the bullet, and Santa's Little Helper gets his surgery. But paying the vet's bill means tightening the family's budget, and as they feel the pinch, the dog bears the brunt of their resentment. Sensing he's not wanted, Santa's Little Helper runs away; after being picked up by animal control, Santa's Little Helper begins a strange new chapter of his life when Mr. Burns (voice of Harry Shearer) adopts the cast-off pet, and attempts to mould him into an attack dog. "Dog of Death" first aired on March 12, 1992.