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Ellen DeGeneres' Doggone Nightmare

10/15/2007 9:31 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres is caught in the middle of a doggy tug of war that has left an innocent girl in tears.

Ellen and her girlfriend, Portia de Rossi, adopted Iggy (a Brussels Griffon mix) from Mutts and Moms, a dog adoption agency. But things didn't work out as Ellen planned -- her cats didn't get along with Iggy -- so she gave the pooch to her hairdresser, who has two kids, including 12-year-old Ruby.

Last night, a rep from the agency came to the hairdresser's home, claiming Ellen violated the contract by not informing the agency of the hand-off. The rep demanded to take the dog away. Ellen' s position -- yeah, she should have notified the agency, but she found a loving home and isn't that what counts? The agency rep stuck to her guns and removed the dog with cops present. Ruby is heartbroken; reduced to tears.

Ellen says, "I kept saying, 'If you want to be mad at me, be mad at me, but don't take it out on the family. Don't take it out on the dog.'"


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I work with a terrier rescue group here in Florida. The issue goes beyond Ellen and her pup. The problem stems from the lack of regulation and supervision of rescue groups nationwide. Adopted pets are often inadequately vetted and left unaltered. Many groups are now “rescuing” puppy mill pets and adopting them out for big bucks. YES. It is all about the money for some! NOT the dog! Licensing and regulating these groups followed by inspections and audits would help stop these "non-profits" from unscrupulous practices and get them back to rehoming pets with the best possible family.
As far as Ellen goes, she should have read the contract and kept the matter private.
The rescue group, on the other hand, could have made an exception to their rules after a completed application and home inspection found the family a good match for the pup.

2564 days ago


gee Kathleen I guess your one too! Where is the Love ?

2564 days ago


Ellen says, "I kept saying, 'If you want to be mad at me, be mad at me, but don't take it out on the family. Don't take it out on the dog.'"


Why does Ellen think this is about HER?

2564 days ago


Once again, someone from the Hollywood scene thinks they are ABOVE THE RULES that OTHERS HAVE TO FOLLOW. That agency has the right to make whatever rules it wants. How many people get animals and then decide they don't want them and give them away to people who do not care for them or leave them beside the road? I do not believe that Ellen would do anything to harm an animal, but, the rules were made for the multitude of ignorant people. Yes, I think that this agency should look into giving this dog back to the girls, but, that SCENE on Degeneres show was an out and out strategy to force this agency to do her will. Perhaps the emotion was genuine, but she was only trying to manipulate these people through pressure. I, personally, find that disgusting and an insult to her viewers intelligence.

2564 days ago


Give IGGY BACK NOW !!! Aren't you ashamed? = Marina Baktis. Free Dog Now !!! With LOVE !!!

2564 days ago


This lunatic woman at Mutts and Moms has major psychiatric problems. She is a control queen. Now its boo hoo, oh poor me now that she is getting negative attention. I grew up with a mother EXACTLY like this. At 82 she is still dishing it out on a daily basis. These people become emotional and hysterical whenever called on their outrageous actions. This woman needs to have her business license revoked. The only reasonable thing to do would have been to interview the family, if that was even necessary and let them keep the dog. Ellen is not making $15 million a year because she is an idiot. Can I remind everyone that there is a war going on and more than 150,000 men and women are risking their lives.

2564 days ago


Sadies Mom - Comment 783 - Got it exactly right! To hell with the idiotic contract. That is for use when the dog has become endangered which it had not. It is more likely that the dog could have been destroyed at a shelter rather than been placed in a good home. I certainly trust Ellen's judgment more than this crackpot control freak at Mutts and Moms. Crikey!

2564 days ago


Now, the misguided madames of Paws Boutique are saying that the reason they gave the dog to someone else was that they did not think the hairdresser's family was suitable. I don't beleive them, don't buy that reasoning at all. It is a shame they are getting death and arson threats, because that is uncalled for. However, if the bad PR from this incident should cause Paws Boutique in Pasadena, CA to go out of business, I will not mourn. I intend to be going to LA next summer, and I will make it a point to take a drive down Raymond and see what the store front looks like. If it is shuttered or no longer there, I will celebrate.
These women ought to be well ashamed of themselves.

2564 days ago


she never should have violated the contract! it could've been veeeery harmful to the dog!!! what if these people were harming the dog in private? what if they were all michael vicks in private w/o letting anyone know? this is why the contract is set in place, so the company can find the best home, if it doesn't work out. all she would've had to do was let the company know, and tell them she had someone in mind that wanted the dog and knew him. they would've taken the dog, run him through the health/behavior tests again, and signed the haidresser up for a home visit to make sure he was suitable, them most likely given the dog to them, if they're so great. what were they trying to hide by not going to the agency? do they have a criminal record, an animal abuse record, or just no money to adopt him? and if not, why are they trying to adopt a dog they cant afford? I'm sure if the match was so great, ellen wouldve given them the money to adopt him, but what about long term? dogs live a very long time. please think before you possibly endanger another life, especially and innocent animal.

2564 days ago


You know...I own purebred dogs and Rescue Shelter dogs and have found that the application process is just as detailed as when I got my purebred WHAT?? Fill out the flippin application and READ IT, especially if you are going to sign your name to it!!

No person, including CELEBS, should think those contracts don't really apply to them and I will tell you, I would hard pressed to want to adopt any animal to CELEBS after this fiasco. These contracts are created in the best interest of the animal PUREBRED or RESCUES.

Jenni - contrary to your comment regarding adoption of children being easier than filling out and COMPLYING with a contract for a are is STILL harder to adopt a child, just ask those in the process of trying!

callmecrazy - The answer is sad but simple...BECAUSE we can for the animals! Hey, ask the lawmakers why it's harder to remove a child from a bad situation...does this mean we should not protect the animals?

Like callmecrazy and ashphoenix commented WHY didn't the 'family' and the 'original adopter' go to MOMS and MUTTS and do the RIGHT thing? What were they thinking? Did they think they were/are exempt from following protocols that 'regular' people, like myself, have to follow and did so without batting an eyelash and now live happily with my two RESCUE dogs?

Hmmm....regular schmoes following the rules versus Celebs following the amongst yourselves! *L*

2564 days ago


If Ellen's partner Portia is the person who originally signed the adoption papers for Iggy, it is Portia who is the legal owner of the dog.

Therefore, technically Ellen "stole" the dog from Portia when she gave it to her hairdresser. And now the rescue group is in possession of stolen property and transferred that stolen property to a third party! The rescue group is liable for damages!

If Portia filed a complaint that her property was stolen, she could legally get the dog back! Are you listening Ellen? You have the power to bite back!

2564 days ago

Kevin Eckhart    

They should take their contract and stick it way up where their head was when they made the decision to physically remove the dog from that obvioulsy loving home.

You give a loser a little power and they don't know how to restrain themselves.

2564 days ago


The rescue group has policies that this family did not meet.

Rescue groups put their heart, time and money into the animals they chose to bring into their programs. It is very much like adopting a dog but knowing that you are adopting the dog for a short time - to help find that dog the best home. Rescues have every right to have a policy on who they place these animals with. This has happened with other rescue groups and adopters. It is unfortunate that there is so much publicity regarding this particular instance.

By the way, the hairdresser's husband called the cops. The cops recognized who had the legal rights and allowed the rescue to take their dog back.

2564 days ago


There is no reason that rescue should have taken that dog like that. I work with a rescue & yes it says in the contract, BUT if other options are NOT available when you cannot keep the dog, as in a loving family & a shelter is the only option, then yes the rescue takes the dog back. Not ONCE have we taken a dog away where the family is completely suitable for the animal. This rescue is getting attention as wanted, but not the attention that is needed. Im sure they wont be around much longer with this attention.

2564 days ago

A Domestic Violence Victim too    

No one loves animals more than me and I have spent lots of time and my own personal money to save many. However, in this case, the rescue group could not see the forest for the trees. I wish they had spent their time and energy rescuing a dog from the dreaded needle and there are plenty that will be killed tomorrow. Instead, they were infelxible and down right ridiculous. Sure policies and contracts are important but common sense should prevail. And let's say they were right to confiscate the dog, then that family should have had the right to fill out adoption papers and sign a new contract. Instead, it was placed in yet another home, a girl is heartbroken and no telling what confusion the dog must feel. The dog is the true victim and the rescue lost sight of that! This is very sad!

2564 days ago
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