Owner Of Mutts And Moms Dog Rescue Agency Files Police Report After Claims Of Death Threats


The owner of Mutts and Moms dog rescue agency is claiming that she has received death threats after the public has heard the story of Ellen DeGeneres giving an adopted dog, Iggy, away to her hairdresser and her two daughters, ages 11 and 12.

Marina Baktis, the owner of Mutts and Moms, said that DeGeneres violated the organization’s policy by giving Iggy away to another family without notifying them. Baktis then took the dog away from the hairdresser.

Despite DeGeneres’ pleas, Baktis refused to give back the dog because she violated her agreement with the agency. Also the shelter said it has a policy of not giving puppies to families with children younger than 14.

Baktis said, “If Ellen wants to start her own rescue group then she can decide where the dogs go. Who is she to say who is a good home and whose not? And who is she to say where I should place my animals and how I should do this? I don’t tell her how to run her show.”

On “Good Morning America”, Batkis’ lawyer played a message that he said is from a DeGeneres public relations representative.

The voice mail said: “We’re filing a legal case against you. We’re going to be contacting the media. This is not going to be good for your store or your organization.”

Batkis stated that she would not return Iggy because of the way she has been treated by DeGeneres. She also said she has received death threats and is afraid for her safety. She filed a police report with the Pasadena Police Department last night.

DeGeneres stated on her show today, “This has become so insane. It’s not even, it’s just just the dog just needs to go to the family. It’s like the fight should … not be about anything. It just needs to be in a good home. That’s all you’re supposed to do is put a dog in a loving home.”

Source: ABC News, TMZ

130 Responses to “Owner Of Mutts And Moms Dog Rescue Agency Files Police Report After Claims Of Death Threats”

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  1. Stefani says:

    This woman is on a freakin ego trip. Why would she refuse to give the dog back to a family that cares for it because of what DEGENERES has done?

    This egomaniac is holding people responsible (hairdresser, children, and DOG!!!!) who should not be held responsible.

    “My” dogs?

    “My” dogs?

    So that’s it — she sees the dog as “hers.” She’s not interested in being of SERVICE to the animals she rescues, she’s interested in . . . her proprietorship of them.

    She is acting like a BEEEOTCH.

    Of course, no one deserves death threats, but it’s her reprehensible behavior that has triggered the outrage, NOT the mere fact that Degeneres chose to disclose her reprehensible behavior.

    Deep down, this woman must be embarrassed and ashamed for how she is acting to be so defensive. So, Ellen told the world. Big whup. She signed no confidentiality agreement . . .

    The woman’s mad people know what she did. Too bad. Tough luck. It’s YOUR behavior, why is it people’s responsibility to help you hide it?


  2. mittens says:

    when you act INSANE,Mutts and Moms, people respond in kind.if i had money i’d have no problem sueing your ass into the ground. normally i would never consider it appropriate to hurt such an organization but sick control freaks have no business being in control of the lives of animals and other humans.

    once a person gives you money and assumes responsibility for the pet it’s THEIR property, not yours. my understanding is it’s even very difficult for dog officers and animal control people who are empowered by the laws( that is deputized by local authorites) to remove a pet from it’s rightful owner save in cases of extreme abuse. and since when are small dogs inappropriate for children who are nearly teenagers? only in your rigid deluded mind. youre just flipped out because someone dared to violate your unreasonably applied rules which in fact have no basis in law. youre not god andyou have certainly proved you wouldnt know what was best for an animal through your cruelty.

    get help. do you enjoy making little girls cry so you can indulge your overweening need to police other people and their lives? youre not helping these animals by denying them happpy homes that dont pass your own twisted set of unbendable control freak rules. get help through therapy not by feeding your illness through your ‘ charity’ work which is little more than a platform for your compulsive propensities.

  3. Carol says:

    Sounds like Batkis is using Iggy as a pawn—she’s not returning the dog because of how she was treated by Ellen!!! And she actually made that public!!! I guess she is not looking out for the pup’s best interest after all! How she feels about Ellen should have no bearing on whether the dog whould go back to the hairdresser. Shame on you Batkis—rules are rules, but it seems that’s not what you are thinking of!

  4. Carol says:

    Oops, I did forget to mention that she (or anyone else) never deserves death threats!

  5. PetMono says:

    Somewhat surprised how Craig’slist pet forum responded. Typically a savvy, emotional, pro-adoption group, one would have expected the forum to attack the shelter for taking dogs away from a home, from children. On the contrary, when the dust settled, the sentiment was that Ellen should have made the call to the shelter that she could not keep the dog. Also, Ellen should not have taken this public on her show.

    Here is what one forum member said about the shelter. “we adopted our dog, Apple from Mutts & Moms 2007-10-16 15:52:14 I feel bad for the kids, but I know first hand that this rescue isn’t made up of crazies and I feel bad that she is being made to look like a villain. I don’t think it was right for Ellen to take it to national tv - a little over dramatic. The rescue is run by one woman out of a corner pet shop that sells high end dog foods and boutique type toys and dog accessories. (…}
    For more details visit http://www.petmonologues.com/pet022207/?p=427

  6. Anonymous says:

    IMO, If the only reason she’s not giving the dog back to the family is the age of the kids, rather than abusive or neglectful behavior, that’s a little bizarre. She should tell her side of the story in the proper context if there’s some sort of overt problem with the family. Having any sort of blanket policy that doesn’t allow leeway for good homes with kids of that age might be costing more lives than it saves. Better to have a case by case attitude, or find someone with the time to evaluate the family properly.

    If this is some sort of personal agenda the media is the wrong place to air it on all sides. How about adults acting like adults for a change of pace?

  7. Anna says:

    Absolutely stupid! Wait….let me get this right Marina… so a Doberman Pincher (a big dog) will not bite or hurt a 12 yr. old, but a small dog like Iggy will hurt them?! You have NO clue what you’re talking about! Families with 12 yr. olds ALL over the world own dogs! You said that a little dog like Iggy could hurt them, but you’re willing to give them a big dog!!!!???? Are you just stupid! A big dog is more likely to hurt a 12 yr. old! You should get a life and learn more about what you’re doing, because ALL of America knows you’re just plain stupid! The home was a nice place for the dog, and you made a reason up just to get some publicity. Well guess what? Practically no one is on your side. “I will not be pushed around by the Ellen Degeneres’s of the world.” If you give it back, or not, you just embarrassed yourself in front of ALL America. Feel smart?! Ellen does so many nice things, and just put sooooo much $ into that dog, and you can care less.

  8. Tanya says:


    once you adopt them out, you may be curious, you may be hopeful, you may be loving, but you do not OWN them.

    How is she (ellen) qualified to know what a good home is? probably by common sense. DO YOU HAVE ANY???

  9. elizabeth says:

    This could have been and should have been resolved privately. Ellen’s heart is in the right place but she was wrong to take this public using her celebrity in the way she did.

  10. Jenny Bark says:

    Ellen did not take this public until M & M came over to do what they said was a home inspection. Instead the women grabed the dog & would not leave it go & called the cops in frount of the girls crying. Imo the cop would not have let her have the dog back if it did not have the chip still regestered to M&M. Imo it is time for Ellen to stop being such a wonderful women & sue, I don’t think their contract will hold up in court. If she reads her 12,435 comments ( last time I looked) I think she will agree & file a law suit, enough of being a good person time for her to act. I’m with Ellen.

  11. Stefani says:

    IMHO, Ellen SHOULD have contacted the rescue per the contract — which she admitted.

    However, also, IMHO, Ellen has EVERY right to talk about this, on her show or anywhere she wants. How can that “Mutts” lady expect Ellen or the hairdresser’s family to keep mum about what she has done? They don’t owe her that, and if she doesn’t want to face the music for her bad behavior, she shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

    It’s not their job to protect her from the outcry, or prevent it.

  12. Bridgett says:

    When you have dealings with celebrities there is a good chance it will go public. That is just the way it is. Ellen is a talk show host!!! She is going to talk about things that are near and dear to her.

    If this hysterical owner of M&M is going to stick to her guns, she owes Ellen alot of money. At the very least Ellen should get the adoption fee back and her $600 donation.

  13. Tanya says:

    Oh, and imagine if Ellen had come out on her show and discussed what a WONDERFUL shelter this was, and how great the people were, and that everyoen should go adopt from them.

    i’m sure this woman would have loved that exposure. but as someone just said, if you deal with celeberties, and want the good from it, you better be worth it, cause “it’s all gonna come out in the wash”. that’s just the way it goes.

    I do find that i’m becomming slightly frustrated with some (not most or all) of these specialized shelters. someone mentioned a book about this, and if you all have the title i’d love to read it.

    Shelter workers see so much uglyness, i think they want to “prove” to themselves that the home will not be ugly. But we all know you can’t do that. some people who are poor will make great parents. some people who are rich will make abusive parents. Making sure a parent will not declaw will not insure the parent doesn’t “devoice” a dog, or confine it to a bathroom the rest of its life.

    I couldn’t work at a shelter, due to the horrors those people face often. Poster Traci talks about a cat with rat bites that required surgery. due simply to owner neglect. but at some point, resuces need to remember that there is no “perfect home” and no matter how well you screen some good parents will be denied and some lousy parents will be approved.

    maybe getting *most* pets into *good* homes is better than getting all “your animals” in to “perfect” and “forever” homes.

  14. Bridgett says:

    “Baktis said, “If Ellen wants to start her own rescue group then she can decide where the dogs go. Who is she to say who is a good home and whose not? And who is she to say where I should place my animals and how I should do this? I don’t tell her how to run her show.””

    Aaahhh the hysterical ravings of a mad woman.

  15. Jan says:

    I hope Ellen does sue. Poor Iggy and Iggy’s family. What’s your next move “Mutts” lady? Euthanzie Iggy? Shame on you “Mutts” lady.

  16. Harry says:

    It’s very interesting that they “seized” the dog from the hairdresser’s house. Very much like OJ’s “sting”. However, as a legal matter, Mutts & Moms may not have had the legal right to take the pet from the hairdresser’s family. They may be guilty of burglary or larceny. The hairdresser had no privity of contract with Mutts & Moms and dogs and, unless Mutts & Moms filed a Uniform Commercial Code statement with respect to their “property” it is quite possible that the hairdresser’s family was the legitimate owner and was robbed. In any event, a court order should have been issued. It is also quite possible that the laws in California do not permit such discriminatory agreements that pets cannot go to a house with minor age children (unless there is a public safety issue). It’s the same as saying that they can’t go to a house with lesbians.

  17. Stefani says:

    Wow, Harry, that is a smart post. Never thought of that . . .

  18. Jenny Bark says:


    Redemption, by Nathan Winograd, I think is the book you are looking for. I think it is a great book, if this isn’t the book you are looking for I’m sorry.

  19. Lynn says:

    At what point does “checking up on a dog” become harrassment or stalking?

    Ellen did not sign the contract. Her partner, Portia, did. If I were Ellen I would charge the MandM with harrassment, stalking……you name it.

    And if there’s a tax attorney on this website take a look into the Mand M non-profit status. How does one know she’s not laundering pet boutique income through MandM [and paying no taxes].

    If MandM store is shut down…….and if dogs are kept on premises in cages…..can someone legally arrest MandM for neglect or something?

    Meanwhile Iggy suffers through all of this. Sucks. Really sucks.

  20. Jenny Bark says:

    Tanya, sorry about the typo on your name. A big sorry. I was up all night reading posts.

  21. Furbabies says:

    Harry, are you an attorney? If not, you sure missed your calling. You would be a great one!

    PS: They should give the pup back. It no longer “belongs” to that group. It was Ellen’s pet when she paid for everything!

  22. Lynn says:

    Harry - last night on LA news a woman was interviewed. She adopted from MandM. Not long afterwards she was walking the dog, sans leash, and the MandM drove up, parked their car, snatched the dog, and drove off wit it. That’s stalking in my book. No?

    Anyone live in Pasadena? Can you drive by and see if they’re open. If so, can you go inside and see if they have dogs in cages there?

  23. kaefamily says:

    “”some people who are poor will make great parents. some people who are rich will make abusive parents. Making sure a parent will not declaw will not insure the parent doesn’t “devoice” a dog”"
    VERY TRUE assessment! I CAN CERTAINLY and personally SUBSTANTIATE all of scenarios above.

  24. straybaby says:

    Harry says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    the pup was still micro-chipped under mutts and mom’s name. so that is why the cops let them take the dog. otherwise i’m not sure they would have.

  25. Debra says:

    And Ellen did not come off as a mad woman? I tend to side with Mutts and Moms. Ellen signed a contract and should have abided by it. Guess as it was just a dog–she didn’t need to read or give due diligence to her side of the bargain.

    I adopted from Milo Foundation (two times) and they have the same restriction. At the time of adoption, they were quite careful to verbalize this requirement and made sure I confirmed my understanding of same. I cannot vouch for Mutts and Moms but if they are anything like Milo, a tremendous effort is put into rescuing dogs. My Jelly was pulled with her sister from the Clovis Animal Shelter after the euthanization order was signed. They drove for hundreds of miles to save them. If Milo says they retain ownership and I am custodian, I am fine with that.

    Ellen is not passing the sniff test on this. Look at the time line. She adopted the pup on Sept 20. It was neutered and then went into training. It wasn’t specified whether the training was accomplished at her home, but sounded (to me) as though the dog was sent away. The dog had been at the hairdresser’s for TWO weeks. That left one or two weeks max that the dog resided in the Degeneres home. She GAVE up on the dog in a very short time. I adopted a fox terrier/cattle dog mix and he was an ungodly terror with my two kittens for MONTHS. I never gave up. He was tied to me or a tie down for 3 months and then never left unattended with the kittens for months. My point of view is that Ellen’s commitment to Iggy extended only as far as throwing some money at the problem and then giving up.

    Now she is threatening lawsuit against Mutts and Moms. I am really disappointed in her. M&M seems rather strident, but I can easily believe there is a very pushy, used to getting her own way celebrity diva behind the ‘tude.

  26. 2CatMom says:

    Now I’m really glad I didn’t follow the rule about microchips my cats’ shelter had in their contract. They had the same thing - the chip stays with them ‘for safety purposes.’ First thing I did was change the chip registration. So sorry, after checking with my attorney, I learned that since under the law the cats were my property, anything pertaining to them (including the chip was mine legally). And since the shelter shut down, if I hadn’t changed the chip and didn’t know about it closing my animals would be registered to a non-existent entity.

    Also, while its nice to know that they would always take the cats back, I also didn’t follow their ‘cats must come back to us’ clause. If something happens to me, my cats are provided for in my will and are bequeathed (remember, they are property under the law) to my dear cat loving friend who has agreed to give them a home.

    I agree with declaw and keeping them indoors restrictions, since these concern the animal’s safety, but some of this other stuff is just plain control freak stuff.

  27. Tanya says:


    This is again why i have problems with issues like contacts about how you will rasie your pet.

    What businness is it of yours, why the pet was given away? If it was given away to a loving home, it’s well cared for.

    I’ve brought some 10 pets into my home over my life. my pets become my kids. if a new pet was not getting along, if i felt my first pets were threatened, or were getting sick from fear, or any number of other reasons, i’d give away my new pet if i could find a loving home for it.

    it is not your job to judge what people do with their pets.

    It is not your job to assert that the only good pet parents are those who would not give up a pet for any reason. nor is it your job to assert that only people who view animals the way you do (as loved members of the family) have legal rights in this society.

    Ellen gave away her dog. note, HER dog. that is her right. no contract anywhere in the us can assert that you do not have the right to dispose of your property as you see fit, BARING ABUSE. you can’t leave a dog by the side of a road. but you can decide that your dog, and your cats would BOTH be happier if the dog found a loving home where it were the center of attention.

    Judgmental much?

  28. Stefani says:

    At any rate, I am not sure who this lady filed a police report against. It is not Ellen’s responsibility what people are doing over this.

  29. kiko says:

    $32 = Pet adoption fee charged by LA County Shelters. Includes deworming and age-appropriate vaccinations.

    $25-$100 = Average adoption fee charged by private rescue organizations in LA area. Includes deworming, age-appropriate vaccines, and usually spay/neuter surgery.

    $250-$500 = Purchase price charged by professional breeders for pet-quality Bichon Frise puppies. Includes deworming, age-appropriate vaccines, spay/neuter surgery, health guarantee, warranty against genetic deformities that may appear later in life, and official AKC registration papers.

    $250 = Starting price charged by Mutts & Moms for purchase, eh, excuse me, I mean “adoption” of puppies to non-celebrities. Includes deworming and age-appropriate vaccines. Does not include spay/neuter surgery.(Are the deworming and vaccines provided by the LA County shelter before M&M pulls the dogs from there?? Do LA taxpayers pay for these services and medications?)

    $600 = Price charged by Mutts & Moms for so-called “adoption” of puppies to celebrities. Includes deworming and age-appropriate vaccines. Does not include spay/neuter surgery.

  30. Dennis says:

    I agree with the notion that the dog should be with the family and that barring the dog from being with these kids isn’t a good idea. And I think both sides are out of control on this. The shelter should have met with the proposed owners and attempted to verify them as proper owners and let them keep the dog assuming they were otherwise acceptable. After all, the shelter’s purpose is to save pets and place them in good homes.

    But the issue here should be a lesson about contract law, about property ownership (as pets are unfortunately property), and about reading what we’re signing instead of dealing with the contract contents after something happens. Consulting an attorney is something best done before the lawsuits are needed - before the contract was signed. I don’t like all the terms that some of these have in them either, but the proper response should be to walk away, not sign it, or negotiate fairer terms, instead of having to fight the terms later on. Pet rights, pet status as property, and limits on what a shelter can put in such agreements are all good topics to talk to the State Legislatures about for them to cook up some new Laws. Each State varies on this type stuff.

    Depending upon the contract and the State Law, the property may have reverted in ownership when the original adopting party breeched the agreement. The shelter intended the contract language to permit them to rescue back a pet that wound up in a bad situation where it was no longer safe with the original adopter. The original intent was to protect the dog from abandonment and from being in bad situations after being abandoned. Of course, a good intention in this situation got lost in the press and emotions. A breech of the contract would mean seizure of the dog was simply taking back the shelter’s property because the parties to the agreement likely agreed to the ownership return in certain situations, one of which apparently occurred.

    My bet is that after this is all over with, Ellen or the partner who signed the contract will find herself on a shelters black list unable to adopt any pets. Not that I think that is fair either.

    …Don’t shoot the messenger…fix the Laws…

  31. straybaby says:

    interesting point Dennis. makes me wonder. . . .

    if a person has their pets covered in their will should something happen to them, what happens to any contract they may have signed with a rescue group as inflexible as M&M?

  32. sylvia says:

    The NY tv news this evening reports the Mutts and Moms tyrant has already placed the poor little Iggy in yet another home. So she has the dog in 3 or 4 homes in a month or so and grabs a dog out of a child’s arms and claims to be the life long controller of any pet she places and some people actually think she is about the welfare of animals. Give me a break!

  33. Bridgett says:

    She has already placed the dog!? So quite possibly if Ellen decides to pursue this legally… this dog could be ripped out of some other families life.

    I wonder if this woman didn’t have a friend who wanted the “Ellen” dog? Mighty suspicious that she would place this dog so quickly.

  34. Walter Slezak Admirer says:

    Ellen Degeneres and her over-the-top performance are what’s wrong with this picture.

    But for that, this matter would have remained private and there would be no talk of rescuers losing the public’s support or pet store owners losing business.

    Very few of you seem to get it. Degeneres (not DeGenerous, that’s for sure) is an actress and she used her acting skills in an attempt to get her way.

    Turn your lights on. I’m with the pet store broads on this one.

  35. sylvia says:

    Walter are you one of the “pet store broads”???

    No one is going to stop donating to rescues run by people who care about animals,and people and are not run by tyrants on an ego trip.
    I do donate regularly and even help place.

  36. Traci says:



    Good grief, haven’t we moved beyond the 1950s?

    Whatever, Dick.

  37. Jenny Bark says:


    Take a look at this. You guy know I’m not good on a computer but if I did this right it should tell you M & M lost their corp. status in Calf.. If I did it wrong you can find this information on tmz post.

  38. Di says:

    Would I give them a death threat?? Answer is definitely NO. Do they deserve death threats?? Well, maybe. Ha ha. There are so many pets who need to be rescued and M&M were so wrong on how they handeled the situation. They not only affected this family but the also jeopardized potential adoptions and donations with their facility.

  39. straybaby says:

    i don’t see ellen pursuing it if the dog has been placed. by the time it’s resolved the pup will be part of the new family.

    and for those that she she was over the top/using her celebrity/acting. think about the time line. this happened sunday afternoon. on monday when the show was taped, she prob saw her hairdresser before the show and maybe they discussed what was happening/how the kids were doing/etc. it’s also possible she found out it was being reported on TMZ. the tape TMZ had was taken on sunday. but whatever it was, she obviously started the taping still very upset. i have to wonder if she hadn’t been so upset if she would have aired it on the show. or if the taping had been at a different time would it have unfolded differently.

    damn they placed that dog quick. hope they did the home and ref checks this time. and the new owners update that chip lickity split! wonder what the adoption fee was . . . .

  40. Scratch says:

    It is bad publicity like this that actually drives good homes away from adoption. I know a few impeccable homes that were turned away for minor details that just went and bought a pet.

    Harry, I’m with you, I believe the hairdresser has a good case against Mutts and Moms. This may cost Mutts and Moms a lot of good money that could have been put to good humanitarian use.

    No doubt Ellen was wrong. But this is between the hairdresser and Mutts and Moms at this point.

    Unless Mutts and Moms has a very legitimate reason that this particular pet will not be a good placement in this particular home M & M will be the losers, one way or another. The difference between an 11 yr old and 14 yr old child is a minor detail. If there is an insurance issue than have the adopting party sign off on liability. Which I don’t see as an issue in this case.

    If they aren’t allowed to adopt Iggy they will probably just go buy a pet. It is self defeating for a rescue group to not have any flexibility in their general rules.

  41. 2CatMom says:

    Straybaby: Think of it this way - the shelter would have to know you had died. They’d have to remember you as the adopter of one of their pets. Then they’d have to find who had disposition of your estate. On so on.

    To me the really egregious thing is that this woman gained entrance to a private home on false pretenses. And the fact that a cop actually helped her is pretty suspicious to me. How could the cop know who the chip was registered to? I don’t think ED is the only one throwing her weight around. Talk about abuse of power.

    And the shelter that is so careful about placing animals that they’d rather have animals in a kennel than in a foster home immediately found a new home for the dog? Not buying it. The dog went home with one of the owners. Now if the family or Ellen try to get the dog back they can use the same ‘he’s bonded with his new family’ bit against them.

    And no, I don’t approve of death threats under any circumstances. If you don’t like a business’ policies, don’t patronize them. But violence or even the threat thereof is not acceptable.

  42. RoonieRoo says:

    All I can see how much MaM has damaged the cause of rescue work. Makes me very sad for all the talented rescue people that have the skill and maturity to love both the animals and the people.

    They will have to fight through the poor perception these two have created to future adopters.

  43. Nancy G. says:

    Hmm, I wonder why their corporation status in Calif. was suspended? Before all this happened, or as a result of it? If they are no longer a corporation, what are they? And why do they charge a $600 adoption fee to “celebrities”, and then squawk about Ellen being a “celebrity” and throwing her weight around, but they won’t cave in to the pressure? On the one hand, they don’t mind exploiting celebs, and on the other hand, they seem to resent them. Such a mixed up position is not a good sign. They seem to be as self-righteous as PETA has become.

  44. kaefamily says:

    Not unlike children’s adoption, before anyone knows it we’ll be adopting pets abroad ;-)

  45. Jenny Bark says:

    I still say Ellen is a wonderful women. You may want to read this I was right about the chip. M & M hasn’t followed the rules in the past about age or home inspections.


    I sure hope I’m doing this pasting right if not i’m sorry.

  46. Andrea D says:

    You know, a friend of mine signed one of those clauses when he adopted a golden lab two or three years ago. I went with him to see her, and she seemed like a great dog. The shelter, honestly, lied a lot about her. They claimed that she had hip dysplasia and couldn’t run. She was a very quiet dog, and my friend, who lived in a large apartment overlooking a park, felt that she was a good match. The shelter assured him that she was great with kids and other dogs. Calm, collected, a little sad. He agreed to bring her back if it wasn’t a good match.

    Well, it turned out that the dog wasn’t calm or collected - she was extremely ill. She had probably developed kennel cough early on. As soon as she got home, she started coughing blood. My friend was pretty angry that she hadn’t received medical care at the shelter. Once she was well, she was a terror. She didn’t have hip dysplasia and could jump up onto the kitchen counter if she got a running start. She shredded his couch. She snapped at kids. She dominated other dogs. With a bit more research, we found out that she had already been returned to the shelter for nipping a young boy.

    My friend knew he was obligated to bring her back, but after spending so much money on her health care (and new furniture), and considering that the shelter hadn’t bothered to inspect her before to see if she was sick, he didn’t trust their judgment. He found a middle-aged couple with several acres of orchard and two other high-energy labs (and no kids!). He interviewed them several times, met them for playdates, and eventually decided it was a great fit. The shelter did find out, and they called to berate my friend, but honestly, I agreed with the decision. He really loved the dog, but she needed ROOM, and other dogs to wrestle with.

    He calls the family once a year (they agreed to it) to check in. It’s been a couple of years, and they love her.

    I understand where the shelters are coming from, but I think the tactic is heavy-handed. This shelter didn’t take the time to make sure the dog was healthy - how was he to know if they’d take the time to find her a better home.

  47. JB says:

    The saddest part of this situation, owner of Mutts and Moms doesn’t seem to feel she has done wrong, bad buisness ethics, unprofessional, and to turn around and blame it on Ellen (”Batkis stated that she would not return Iggy because of the way she has been treated by DeGeneres”) bad excuses. She needs to realize the real reason she went into the dog rescue business. She should re-evaluate her goals and intentions because it’s obviously not to protect or provide for these dogs as much as her bank account (600$ adoption fees, please). She sounds more like a puppy-mill owner rather than a rescue. Unfortunately, this owner may close her website for a cool off period but will just turn around and simply promote under a new name and people will not realize her business practices are unethical.

  48. Lynn says:

    Marina is an opportunist. And an extortionist, from what I’ve read. I wonder if she is just SAYING that she placed Iggy elsewhere.

    Jenny Bark - you did well. And inspired me to check to see if Mutts and Mons has a 5013c [non-profit status]. See


    Sorry - it’s a long link.

    They do….and it’s viable until December 2008, also registered to Woodland Hills, CA. I’m thinking they canceled their corporation status when the non-proft status came through. [One terminated in December and one apparently started in December.]

    So now the question is: Is Marina claiming income from goods sold at the shop as tax-free due to non-profit status?

    This Marina is sounding stranger and stranger all the time.

  49. Jenny Bark says:

    Lynn, did you read the one above where M&M didn’t even do a home inspection of Ellen?

  50. SMITH111 says:

    I think this organization needs to grow up. Their MAIN objective is to find good homes for their pets in need. Why didn’t they investigate the new home before taking away this families new pet? I truly believe that Ellen had nothing but good intentions. They could have fined Ellen for breaking the contract (which I hope would go to the care of the other animals) I’m sure Ellen wouldn’t have minded. She knew she broke the contract and there would be consequences. Ellen’s heart was in the right place. Was the agency’s? NO. Now, who really suffered? The dog, as usual. If anyone is listening: PLEASE TURN THIS INTO A WIN-WIN SITUATION.

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