Ellen DeGeneres In Trouble With Rescue Agency For Giving Adopted Dog Away

Ellen DeGeneresEllen DeGeneres is in trouble with a pet rescue agency for giving a dog that she adopted away to her hairdresser.

DeGeneres adopted Iggy, a Brussels Griffon mix, at the Mutts and Moms dog adoption agency in late September. Unfortunately, Iggy and her cats didn’t get along, and Iggy was too energetic, so DeGeneres gave the dog to her hairdresser.

When a representative from Mutts and Moms called DeGeneres to see how Iggy was doing, she said she had given the dog away to another family. The agency said DeGeneres violated an agreement by not telling them what she did.

On Sunday, an agency representative went to the hairdresser’s home and took Iggy away. The two daughters of the hairdresser, ages 11 and 12, had become close to the dog and were extremely upset when Iggy was removed from the house.

DeGeneres spoke about the situation during a taping of her show. She said she did not read all the paperwork during the adoption.

She told her audience, “I thought I did a good thing. I tried to find a loving home for the dog because I couldn’t keep it. I feel totally responsible for it and I’m so sorry. I’m begging them to give that dog back to that family. I just want the family to have their dog. It’s not their fault. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have given the dog away. Just please give the dog back to those little girls.”

Source: Associated Press

Photo: Celebrity Week

(Thanks Lynn)

116 Responses to “Ellen DeGeneres In Trouble With Rescue Agency For Giving Adopted Dog Away”

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  1. HB says:

    Ok, last one for me too ;)

    Tanya,

    I think we’re both guilty of passionately over generalizing. I’ll give you that not all public shelters are guilty of the practice I mention in one of my posts of testing animals one they first come in, while some are. I know they have limited resources as well, but they are publicly run, so logically, the public has a say in how they run (the same way we have a say in how the transportation boards maintain our roads, etc).

    As for all private rescue groups turning away ‘unadaptable’ animals so they can keep their ‘no-kill’ status. Not true either. Many rescues maintain animal sanctuaries as well, for animals that will never be adoptable and do not have an illness that puts the animal in chronic pain. These sanctuaries allow these animals to have a good quality of life, even though they are not adoptable for whatever reason. We have quite a few 3 legged animals or one eyed that no one wants at adoption events, that have spent several months and even several years on our property.

    And yes, rescues do have limits on space, but then again, we have so many fosters in our group that take one 3, 4, 5+ dogs sometimes in order to NOT have to turn any dog away, regardless of its status.

    And I 100% agree with you that the root of the problem is overpopulation and nothing else (we could spawn this into a debate over pediatric spay and neuter next ;) ).

    Cheers,
    HB

  2. Anon says:

    The owners of the shelter said : She is adamant that she is not going to be bullied around by the Ellen DeGenereses of the world … They are using their power, position and wealth to try to get what it is they want.”

    I have to say. To me, this sounds like the owners of the shelter are the ones doing the bullying and having serious control issues.

    To take a dog from a home with a loving family would be virtually “kidnapping” in my home.

  3. Stefani says:

    I heard on a show that this shelter has said:

    a) it has no intention of returning the dog to the hairdresser and

    b) it has a policy against adopting dogs to any household with children under the age of 14.

    These positions both seem unreasonable to me.

    I do support rescue and shelter policies which require that animals adopted FROM them be returned TO them for rehoming. However, the primary consideration has to be placing these animals in good homes.

    It is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS to bar a family with children under the age of 14 from adopting. Maybe there should be restrictions on adopting SOME dogs (based on breed, size, or temparament) to families with babies or toddlers, but the hairdressers kids are 10 and 11 right?

    That policy, if true, definitely stands in the way of many animals being placed, it’s NUTS.

    In this case, what they should do is have the hairdresser’s family go through the adoption screening process, and return the dog to them if they are suitable — but they need to bend their “children must be 14″ rule.

    It is in the best interest of this dog to go back to a family he has bonded with provided they have been taking decent care of him and are capable of continuing to do so. Seems like this group is just being stubborn and defiant because of what Ellen did, and they are punishing the DOG who is the victim here!

    This reminds me of the post about the new book about the no kill movement, where someone posted that many rescues and shelters pass up “good homes” for pets in the search for the “perfect” homes, or what their idea is of the perfect home.

    They may think the “perfect” home would not have kids under 14 — or would not have come about in this fashion — but this dog apparently has a GOOD home with a family that has kids 10-11. That’s GOOD enough, provided they are caring for the dog adequately as well. The best interests of the dog would be served by giving him back.

    Stefani
    The Toonces Project
    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  4. Stefani says:

    That rescue is run by egomaniacs who are trying to make a point (”I won’t be pushed around by the Ellen’s of the world . . . ) and in doing so, have completely disregarded this DOG’s interests. What an egomaniac!

    This is not about what Ellen did (it was the wrong way to go about rehoming the dog, yes). It’s about the DOG!!!!! This is the person they are hurting with their stubborn indignation!

    THEY should be investigated.

  5. The Lioness says:

    I haven’t read through all of the commentsyet, but I have to say that I think this situation is RIDICULOUS! Ellen’s intentions in giving the dog to the family in question were good. The family clearly loved the dog and would have provided a good home for it. I think the rescue kind of went overboard.

    Perhaps instead they should have simply done a home visit on the family and observed them with the dog. Yes, Ms. Degeneres did violate the agreement; however, why make this family (and maybe the dog, from the stress of bouncing around) suffer?

    I agree they should give the dog back to the family. Maybe the solution vis a vis Ms. Degeneres is that she be fined and agree not to do business with that rescue again. (Ie, she violated the agreement, so they don’t want her as a client again.) Not win-win, but the dog would be in a loving home, not back at the rescue WAITING for one.

    I feel strongly about this. I don’t know Ms. Degeneres personally, but from having seen her perform, seen her in interviews, and read about her, I think she is a good person and truly thought she was doing the right thing for the dog.

    I’m an animal rights activist too,but I think some of us can go too far sometimes.

    ~The Lioness

  6. Carol Johnson says:

    Ellen was wrong for giving the dog to another home without going throught the rescue…but her actions are hardly of the “high crimes ” nature. She neglected to read a contract…as most of us do. Did the rescue bother reviewing this with her? It would appear not!

    Ellen made a choice that many in her position do not…and adopted a shelter dog rather than getting an expensivie vanity pooch a la Paris Hilton.

    She would not have given the dog to a bad home.

    This rescue sounds like they are on a major ego trip and not putting the needs of the dog first.

    It is self-centered groups like Mutts and Moms that give rescue a bad name.

  7. Jenny Bark says:

    Ellen’s web site now has 12,435 Comments. There are a few more than before against her but I would say there are a good 99% for her.

  8. Traci says:

    “so, if i had to adopt one kitten, or wanted a kitten to come home to my 6 year old’s birthday present - i’d have to go somewhere else, and not give the kitties at your shelter a home.”

    That policy for under 6 months kittens was made by the owner after it became apparent that it greatly reduced the kittens/cats being returned to us. You can look up the information on a google, the sound reasons why those kittens will do better in twos.

  9. Traci says:

    I might add that those kittens/those kittens that became cats which are returned usually come back with behavior issues making it harder to get them readopted.

  10. The Lioness says:

    I find it very telling that there has been no public statement from Mutts N Moms on this whole thing, other than to loudly and snottily state there is no way the family will get Iggy back.

    Hello??? Don’t they think telling their side of the story–not just spouting their little “rules” over and over again might help them out?

    ~The Lioness

  11. INCORRECT INFORMATION says:

    Hi,

    A couple posters have given my e-mail as the contact info. for “Mutts and Moms”, the rescue that adopted to Ellen.

    I also have a small dog rescue in Pasadena, for senior and special needs doggies, but I’m not “Mutts and Moms”. You can see my rescue information below.

    Thanks,
    Rebecca Kramer
    Small Time Rescue
    website: http://smalltime.petfinder.com
    e-mail: beckynot@beckynot.com

  12. Traci says:

    “As for all private rescue groups turning away ‘unadaptable’ animals so they can keep their ‘no-kill’ status. Not true either. Many rescues maintain animal sanctuaries as well, for animals that will never be adoptable and do not have an illness that puts the animal in chronic pain. These sanctuaries allow these animals to have a good quality of life, even though they are not adoptable for whatever reason. We have quite a few 3 legged animals or one eyed that no one wants at adoption events, that have spent several months and even several years on our property.”

    Our shelter has/has had plenty of special needs kitties housed and adopted since I have been volunteering–diabetics, blind, neurological disorders, seniors, food allergies (vomiting/diarrhea–not something that is considered highly “adoptable”), limbs broken or deformed etc. We recently got back a cat that had been chipped back to us but that had been found in a ditch nearly dead with rats eating her face. She got facial reconstruction from our vet and she is back at her shelter after recuperating with the owner. We send Feline Aids positives out to rescues and homes that specifically have those populations. Kitten season is usually feral kitten season for us. Most of them can be “tamed” and adopted. Occassionally one will grow up that cannot be or we get a feral adult in. Those cats will be sent to a barn or back to their colony. We work closely with the feral advocacy groups as well as tax funded shelters in the greater Seattle area. Often we get highly adoptable “green tags” from them–cats that are older, moms with new kittens/pregnants, black or tuxes, minor respiratory that a couple weeks of medicine can cure.

    “And yes, rescues do have limits on space, but then again, we have so many fosters in our group that take one 3, 4, 5+ dogs sometimes in order to NOT have to turn any dog away, regardless of its status.”

    Stressing the importance of being a foster parent… :)

  13. SMITH111 says:

    SOLUTION: The court orders the dog back to the family (if the family is approved by a respected pet adoption agency) Ellen donates money to another pet adoption agency (not M&M), as a fine for breaking the contract. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. She knows she would be helping other pets in need.

  14. SMITH111 says:

    I might add a fine that is fair. This has already been blown way out of proportion.

  15. Dee says:

    The shelter does not have the best interest of the dog in mind. They need to be shut down.

  16. Kitty Lady says:

    I know I’m probably going to tick off a lot of people with my comments but I have had enough. The rescue group DID offer to have the family come over and sign an agreement and informed them that they had to do a home visit. I guess Ellen and her hairdresser must have thought it was beneath them and refused to do so. Instead of calling this rescue group crazy, controlling, lunatics maybe you all should try gathering all of the facts first. Ellen went sobbing on national TV and the next day she said that she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Hmmm, maybe it was because the founder of the rescue group decided that she had had enough of threat to her life -THREATS TO HER LIFE - and wanted to explain their point of view and went on the early shows. So then Ellen decides to cover her butt by saying that she no longer wants to talk about it.
    I’m a rescuer and a foster mom and reading most of these posts really tick me off. Most of you don’t know what we go through. We take care of “bottle babies” feeding them every two hours around the clock, stimulating them so they can go to the rest room because you’re their momma now, and then dealing with work because we get to pay the vet bills. Do you know the pain that we go through when we’ve given it our all to still have them pass away? Do you know the heartbreak we go through having a cat die in your arms because the medicine that it needed to stay healthy was $25 dollars a month but it was too much for the owners who happen to have the latest cell phone and a purse that costs a couple hundred dollars. Do you know what it feels like to have a FULL grown cat come to you weighting 4 pounds?!?!?!?! Do you know the anger of taking in a cat that has spraying issues because the owners declawed all four paws have a new dog who likes to chase it and don’t understand why after one week of trying he is still doing this? Or how about getting lovely messages from irate random people who want you to take their cat or dog and you should because you’re a rescue group. Trust me if we could we would take all of them but for space and finance issues we can’t. In the last two months I have personally spent close to three thousand dollars on vet bills alone (I get NO donations). Every week I spend around two hundred dollars on litter and food alone. So I apologize that I can’t take in your cat that you’ve had for 8 years and your new boyfriend doesn’t like him so you have to get rid of your cat. I apologize that I don’t have space to take in your cat that you are suddenly allergic to after 14 years. And I REALLY apologize that I cannot take in your cat who “just keeps on getting pregnant”. I’m sorry that you feel you can threaten me by saying that you’ll take her to the pound if I don’t take her. I wish to god I could take all of them because when I say no a little bit of me dies knowing what their outcome is likely to be - but because I have 5 cats who will NEVER be “adoptable” I cannot make more room right now. You see I now have 5 cats that will permanently be with me for their rest of their lives. These guys will never allow me to pick them up or pet them but I made a COMMITMENT when I took them. Even if they hiss at me and scratch me when I take them to the vet to get their shots an annual check ups (although they are all INDOOR cats) I promised them a good home no MATTER what.
    After all of this most of you have the gall to say that we are control freaks?!? You bet I’m going to make sure that my babies go to a good home because I have seen what a marginal home can do. We promised them from the day they came to us that we would make sure they went to a home where they were loved as much as they are with us. So I TRULY, TRULY apologize if I wouldn’t adopt to some of you but I hope that you all understand (although it seems that most of you don’t from these posts) that we are doing this for them NOT us like many of you think.

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