Ellen DeGeneres To Put Dog Controversy Behind Her

On today’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres said she will not longer talk about the controversial situation involving Iggy, a dog that she adopted and gave away to her hairdresser, until Iggy’s story has a happy ending.

DeGeneres said the situation has gotten out of hand and death threats against Mutts and Moms, the dog rescue agency, are not acceptable.

35 Responses to “Ellen DeGeneres To Put Dog Controversy Behind Her”

  1. Dianne says:

    I don’t understand why people are so angry with the rescue group. I do rescue and our adoption contract clearly states that if the placement does not work, the (cat) comes back to the rescue group. I’m currently fostering a guy I’ve had since May. I personally screen potential adopters. If they then “gave him away” I’d be furious and hurt.

  2. Lynn says:


    You want to know why? Here are the answers [copied from another blog, http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2007/10/iggy.php

    Thank you James

    Please seek legal counsel, you are Iggy’s legal owner and stolen property (dogs are considered property) cannot be sold or given to another by M&M.

    So let me understand this, M&M failed to inspect ellen’s house,
    contrary to their rules and regulations;
    M&M failed to have ellen fill out an application, contrary to M&M’s rules and regulations;
    M&Mfailed to have Iggy neutered, contrary to state law;
    M&M failed to put Ellen’s name on the microchip for the dog, contrary to M&M’s responsibilities;
    M&M lied to the cops by representing that Iggy was still theirs when in fact they knew it was now ellen’s dog:
    M&M hadRuby’s family fill out an application and misrepresented that they were coming to their house for an inspection, when in fact they came to steal Iggy, without a warrant or court order - can you say fraud,
    can you say criminal conduct;
    how dare M&M accuse Ellen of breaching the contract when M&M has done nothing by the book at all.
    Hey M&M,you live by the sword, you die by the sword.
    Give the dog back to thefamily and live up to YOUR representation that you went to the house to inspect.

    I will file a formal complaint with the Attorney General of
    California because I believe the M&M is using deceptive practices.

    THIS is about Marina LYING to a POLICE OFFICER, inducing the officer to rely on that lie and walking out of that house with a dog that was not her dog. Her only remedy was to go to court and get it back not “self help.” Since when is Marina judge, jury and executioner

    unless a court of law declares the contract null and void, Iggy belongs to Ellen and she should reclaim him immediately!!!

    I think we should ask the dog’s legal owner for an update on his well being. Oh, sorry, the owner no longer has the dog because it was stolen by Marina.
    Other issue is technically, you cannot sell stolen property. So whoever has Iggy now (if Marina was stupid enough
    to involve another innocent family in this cluster) cannot own stolen property.

    Posted by James | October 18, 2007 12:56 PM


    Does that answer it, Dianne?

  3. Eliza says:


    Interesting information that I have not read before. As a member of a local dog rescue group, the most important thing is to find the dog a family.
    Rules help but do not screen out families that not succeed nor identify families that will make the dog a family member.

    This is a tragedy for all dogs and rescue groups. I am appalled at the behavior of this group.

  4. Eliza says:


    Interesting information that I have not read before. As a member of a local dog rescue group, the most important thing is to find the dog a family.
    Rules help but do not screen out families that will not succeed nor identify families that will make the dog a family member. They are only guidelines.

    This is a tragedy for all dogs and rescue groups. I am appalled at the behavior of this group.

  5. Nancy G. says:

    I think this case highlights the excesses of some pet adoption agencies. Look at the Time Mag website for an interesting article- the writer wanted to adopt a Min. Schnauzer after theirs died at an advanced age. They had to fill out pages of a “psychological questionnaire” [and what psychologist, I wonder, was going to review this document? If none, are they practising psychology without a license?], a home inspection, interviews with the neighbors, when the dog was delivered the agency rep stayed at the house for hours, monitoring things. As the writer said, they were adopting a dog, not claiming the next Dalai Lama! If the rules become so intimidating and burdensome, they drive away potential adoptees, who then get a dog from a pet store or backyard breeder. I can understand the need to be sure the pet is going to a good home, but it seems some of these groups are just on a power trip.

  6. Lynn says:

    Check out Time magazine link that Nancy G refers to:


    The last few sentences say it all. Too bad MandM didn’t have the brains to figure it out.

  7. Leigh-Ann says:

    Not all “adoptions” make a person the “owner” of the animal. If you adopt from the large and well-known Best Friends, for example, they retain ownership, and you are simply the animal’s caretaker. You are not permitted to change the microchip information. I’ve seen an awful lot of assumptions that say because Ellen “owned” the dog, she could do with it what she wanted. That may not be true. And if this becomes a precedent for people to just ignore aspects of adoption contracts when they become inconvenient, then I’m getting out of the rescue and adoption business.

  8. Leigh-Ann says:

    One more thing, as I seem to be the only person who ever raises this issue: how does anyone know whether Ellen’s hairdresser could provide a good home for the dog?! Just because a kid in the household loves the dog, doesn’t mean the home is otherwise suitable. If you found out that Ellen’s hairdresser had owned three other puppies, but always gave them away when they were fully-grown because they required too much attention, would you still think the home was perfect? What if the hairdresser’s family moved a lot, and always gave their pets away when they moved? I’ve seen a lot of assertions saying that the adoption agency missed a chance to place a dog in a perfect home, but I haven’t seen any proof that this perfect home exists.

  9. straybaby says:


    i don’t think anyone has claimed the hairdressers home was *perfect*. most have claimed it looked like a good home and/or loving home from what they’ve seen. odds are ellen thought it was a good home with good, dog loving people. i doubt she would place it otherwise.

    and there is no way in hell that i would EVER adopt a pet where the rescue/shelter retained ownership and/or insisted on keeping the chip in their name. that’s a bit too over the top for this animal welfare/rescue person. my pets are MY pets. not yours, best friends or anybody else’s.

  10. sylvia says:

    First look up the definition of adoption. Second its people like you and your attitude which are turning people off on adopting pets and driving them to buy BYB pups from the newspaper. And finally do you know how inane your thinking is re the hairdresser and family? The reasonable person would have them fill out any paperwork required, make a home visit or two not an invasion, and treat the matter as a new adoption. If no red flags leave the dog. How do you justify moving that poor dog four, five or more times in the last couple of months? If your attitude is you will always “own” a dog long after it is adopted then you are in the wrong “business”.

  11. shibadiva says:

    The rescue agency that shipped my puppy to me had him for a month. I’ve looked after him for 4 years. The breeder of my older purebred had her for 9 weeks. I’ve had her for over 10 years. At what point does “ownership” pass to the pet parent? (I think of it as responsibility, not entitlement…)

    On the other hand, deGeneres had Iggy for 10 days (or something like that), and she has had pass-throughs before (Oakland the border collie, who was given away to a friend). A good part of the three grand that is touted as her “commitment” to the pup was to a veterinarian to board and “socialize” him, because presumably, deGeneres didn’t have the time for that responsiibility. I hardly see a commitment there. Many of us have cognitive dissonance after an adoption that easily lasts 10 days, but we get over it. I know I’ve had doubts when the dogs and cats didn’t immediately get along; if you saw them now, you’d wonder why I said this. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of our pets doubted that they wanted to be with us for the first couple of weeks.

    I don’t feel that I owe any agencies or breeders the right to take my dog back, although it would be comforting to know that I had that recourse, should I no longer be able to look after them. But if, after 4 and 10 years, if I absolutely needed to pass them on to a trusted friend, I would like to do so. And I would contact them to let them know.

    deGeneres, notwithstanding her bleeding heart on TV, sees Iggy as a toaster who didn’t work out, IMO. Disposable and not worth more than 10 days of adjustment. Let’s see if she keeps her lip zippered on this issue, going forward, as she has promised to do.

  12. rikki says:

    Adopted, neutered, professionally behavior-trained, then sent to live in another home, all within 10 days? Yes that Ellen really is ‘all about the animals’ and certainly should be allowed to dictate what ultimately happens to this little rescue dog…

  13. shibadiva says:

    Rikki, I guess Ellen doesn’t mess around in those mucky gray areas like most of us.

  14. straybaby says:

    “good part of the three grand that is touted as her “commitment” to the pup was to a veterinarian to board and “socialize” him, because presumably, deGeneres didn’t have the time for that responsiibility.”

    got a link to that? i thought she paid the vet extra so he would take the pup home after the neuter and not leave him overnight at the hospital. the rest of the 3 grand, in my understanding was the 600 *adoption donation*, the neuter plus extra, a trainer and toys, bed etc.

    i totally agree with your 3rd paragraph.

    i willingly admit i left the door open to return my dog if my cats didn’t adjust. i took her in on a foster basis as i was worried. 7 cats, most had never seen a dog. 2 at 15, 3 former ferals at 10, a 4yo and 2yo. they were here first. granted i was already head over heels in love with my dog as i had been working with her for 3 weeks prior and vowed to try to make it work (to myself), but i wasn’t going to compromise my cats’ heath or well being if it was obvious it wasn’t going to work. it worked out fine and i have brought fosters/rescues through here since, but only after much testing and spending time with them because of those that live here. i will never compromise them. they come first.

    i really doubt ellen sees dogs as toasters. my guess is she saw it may not work out and there was a home with a friend who was looking for a second dog. what if iggy and the cats didn’t adjust after 2mos and that home was gone? she may just have thought she was doing the best thing . . . .

  15. CD says:

    More facts coming out and the blogosphere is connecting the dots. Not a pretty picture of Ellen.

    –Iggy was the second dog Ellen ‘had a problem with’. She had already returned one dog to Mutts and Moms because it didn’t get along with her cats. (www.latimes.com: ‘Ellen’s Doggie-gate’.

    Sure sounds like the rescuers were trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and work with her.

    –From www.defamer.com/hollywood/iggygate:

    “While most of us don’t claim the luxury of a hit talk show with which to air out our grievances, Ellen DeGeneres does, and yesterday she used the pulpit of her celebrity-safe funzone to turn America against Mutts & Moms, an organization that seeks to place found dogs in good homes.”

    –’Agency Barks Back at Ellen’ (www.pagesix.com) More info on the voicemail from Ellen’s office…it came from her PR rep. The rep later tried to spin it, but it’s pretty clear she was trying to intimidate Mutts & Moms.

    –The site TMZ, which gave an Ellen-friendly version of the story, is owned by the same media org. that produces Ellen’s TV show. (From www.nypost.com)

    There’s lots more, and by the time it’s all over, it’s possible apologies will be due from both sides. But outside of her die-hard fans, there’s not much sympathy for Ellen’s ‘TV-star entitlement melodrama’.

  16. Scratch says:

    Maybe the rescue groups who retain ‘ownership’ of these companion animals should rethink what the ramifications of retaining ‘title’ could mean. Who will be the one responsible for any liabilities associated with the ‘adopted’. Seems to me to be a lot of gray areas in the use of words.

    I have requested the opposite proof in the first story. Proof that the hairdresser was NOT an quality home. Proof that moving Iggy was in his best interest. I have not yet seen a response to this question.

  17. Lynn says:

    Only the LA Times link is viable.

  18. straybaby says:


    if you want to follow those sources for info . . . lol!~

    is this the latimes article you were referring to? couldn’t find one by your title . . .


  19. KimS says:

    Wow, the second animal Ellen tried out?
    She probably works 12 hours a day. TV work has insane hours.
    Gee who’d a thunk cats and dogs wouldn’t hit it off in 10 days…..Duh.
    Anyway, M&M acted harshly, Ellen acted like an entitled celebrity.
    And that’s a shock, how? Oh well, having your own show is probably a power trip in a lot of ways.
    So is having your own business.

  20. CD says:

    Sorry about those links! That post got caught in a filter for a while, and I guess it got mangled. The sites are viable, though. If someone can’t find the archived story, and just has to read it, I’ll try to retrieve it from my cache.

    Also, MSNBC/Olbermann had a segment on this tonight –he played the threatening voicemail. He thought it was a funny coincidence that Ellen suddenly stopped talking and stopped taping shows, just as that tape surfaced.

    There’s a lot of info out there: fact and fiction and fan rants.

    But till this surfaced, I hadn’t known about her history of serial adoption and the revolving doggie doors: 2 dogs from Mutts & Moms as well as several others in the past, have all come and gone. That toaster metaphor is a good one.

  21. Sharon says:

    All I know is when I saw the m and m lady on tv, all I could think of is “what a bitch”. I don’t think she gives a damn about the dog. She only cares because the dog went to Ellen. She needs to be put out of business. How can you legally come on to someone’s property and take something without a warrant? I hope she ends up with nothing by the time this fiasco is over. I feel sorry for the poor dog.

  22. shibadiva says:

    Toaster might have been a bit harsh. Usually I use that term to refer to people who would have an animal put down or dumped at a shelter if they no longer wanted it (didn’t go with the furniture, it was after Christmas, etc.). I expect Ellen had good intentions and money to throw at the problem, but just not a whole lot of time or patience.

    Straybaby, I got the impression that a good portion of the $3,000 was for training offsite (don’t know the level of Ellen’s involvement). This is from her show’s transcript: “I got it neutered, I got it trained and I paid my vet extra money to take it home to sleep in the bed with him at night instead of a cage. I spent $3000 on this puppy to acclimate it, to train it to be with our cats.” Possibly the boarding was only associated with the neutering. Possibly she spent a good amount of time working with the trainer and the dog herself. Given her schedule and the news about at least one other pass-through pet, I’m not sure.

  23. NH says:

    My view of Ellen plummeted after this incident. She should be ashamed of herself…using her show to get this dog back. Read your damn contracts Ellen. Don’t leave it for your attorney’s. You do have a brain…don’t you?

  24. straybaby says:


    i’m betting the training rate was prob as inflated as the donation fee. things in LA can be like that ;) we always tell people pets can be expensive and you need to have some money put aside upfront, but this was a bit over the top . . .

  25. Stefani says:

    You know in the back and forth about this, so many people are forgetting to put the interests of the DOG first.

    Ellen violated the contract. True. She should have returned the dog. True.

    However, she gave him — by all accounts — to a perfectly suitable home, where he bonded with the family. The rescue woman, to PROVE A POINT, it seems, went on FALSE pretenses to this family’s house and TOOK the dog from them without telling them this was her intent.

    She then — out of apparent ANGER and STUBBORNESS and to PROVE A POINT about not letting the “Ellen Degeneres’s of the World” get over on her — REFUSED to allow this family to be considered as adopters.


    IT’S ABOUT THE DOG, people. She behaved reprehensibly!

    I understand that rescues have these policies for the protection of the animals- to make sure they go to suitable homes. Ellen violated it, she should not have. She should have returned the dog and offered up her friends as adopters or encouraged them to apply. But the dog ended up in a good home, so the very reason this policy existed was not a concern in this case. The rescue should have been flexible.

    Now, the dog is placed in YET another new home — his third in how many months?

    Hopefully, he is bonding well with this new family and has gotten past the trauma caused by this human drama.

    And hopefully, Ellen and the hairdresser won’t pursue trying to get the dog back once he’s been in this new home long enough to bond with THAT family. Should they pursue charges against the Mutts and Mom’s maven? Go for it.

    Just don’t make that poor dog more traumatized by continuing to fight over him and make him move from place to place like a pawn in an EGO showdown.

    Reminds me of the biblical story with two mothers both claiming that the child was theirs. Then, someone said, fine, let’s cut him in half. And one — only one — of the women said, “no, rather than see him cut in two, I will relinquish my claim..”

    We knew then who the real mother was.


  26. AD says:


    I see on the itchmo front page, a new story, based on a Bill O’Reilly show–that the Mutts and Moms folks did tell the hairdresser they could come in and fill out papers and do a formal adoption. But Ellen and the hairdresser refused to do so.

    You can check it out on the front page here.

    What struck me as more information came out, was that the rescue group actually was pretty flexible–they gave Ellen a second dog, and then were going to pursue adoption with the hairdresser.

    It’s strange how things get distorted. Bottom line for me, is great disappointment in Ellen, and I was a fan. Not any more.

  27. Stefani says:

    Yes, AD, I saw that.

    If that story proves to be true, then my entire view of this situation will change. They MUST understand that they HAVE to be willing to go through the same application and screening as everyone else. I’d be all for them getting to keep the dog if they were willing to do so — getting first dibs. But they have no one to blame but themselves if they aren’t willing to do that.

    It’s gotten so confused. It’s hard to know WHAT to believe now.

    I just think at this point it’s best if all parties let it drop, the dog is rehomed. Heaven forbid he should be moved again.


  28. straybaby says:

    that’s odd. i thought the girl said that she filled out the application or had at least started it. she mentioned how detailed it was . . .

    i don’t know why ellen or the hairdresser would refuse to do the app. or why they would have to go down there to do it since it’s online. especially if the rescue was doing a home check.

    this situation still doesn’t add up . . .

  29. Traci says:

    Because it’s “celebrity” and everyone trying to cover their butts at this point.

  30. straybaby says:

    i think i figured it out watching some of the earlier video. sounds like they wanted the family to drive over to passadena and the family didn’t want to so they came to them. it isn’t clear if the girl actually filled out the application, but you can tell she looked at it as she states it’s longer than her school app (lol!~). i’m thinking the family may have thought they shouldn’t have to because the dog was given to them? the girl did say she thought they would have to fill out *more* paperwork and then the dog would be hers. she then talks about things getting heated, so something was going on between her parents and the 3 people from the adoption agency (ellen wasn’t there at this point). wonder what that was about . . .

  31. shibadiva says:

    I believe the lawyer, Keith Fink, mentioned that when he and Marina showed up, Ellen was already there with a cameraman. Why the need for a photo-op?

  32. Lynn says:

    The lawyer was there? Really? And he’s just the “spokesperson”?

    Ever occur to you that the person videotaping was doing it for legal reasons?

    MandM Marina is on a power trip. I wouldn’t believe anything she says and that goes for her “spokesman” too.

  33. shibadiva says:

    You know what, Lynn? I probably just contributed to the misinformation surrounding Iggygate. Somewhere back in the swirls of time, while watching one of the videos and reading what her lawyer had to say, I remember something about Marina’s shock at showing up at the Marks residence and seeing the videographer. Now what probably happened is that her lawyer was just relating her experience. I’ll have to leave it up to someone with more fortitude to go back through the reams of media to ascertain what really happened. On the other hand, the whole thing is so spinned (spun?), will we ever really know?

    Was the videographer there for legal reasons? Hey, this is Hollywood. Does it need to be legal to be filmed? But yes, that did occur to me.

    The lawyer does pro bono work, and it’s possible he’s taken on this David vs. Goliath case because he wants to.

    And the cop? Someone must know for sure when he showed up. Some say he came with Marina. Some say after she’d been there for a couple of hours. It isn’t uncommon for animal control officers to accompany an agency when an animal is to be reclaimed.

    So, where can we see what the videographer saw? I expect the conversation at the Marks home would give us the clues we need. What happened in that 2 hours and what was the discussion about the adoption application?

  34. straybaby says:

    the father called the cops as did marina. that’s on the backyard video. i think the father was filming what was going down in the back yard and you can hear him calling the cops from his cell on the video. if you go to tmz, it’s the entry where they have the 3 videos together. the first one has the girl recounting the events and i think that is prob the most honest assessment from those involved. one of the 3 is the backyard video and it seemed longer than the earlier *releases*.

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