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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ellen Degeneres and Iggy

*image courtesy of AP, Reed/Saxon
This post has absolutely nothing to do with chocolate. I thought I'd tell you that straight away. Instead, this is just one more blogger, venting about something in the news. I turned on the Ellen show this morning, expecting the usual funny monologue and morning dancing. Instead, Ellen was sitting in her chair, sobbing and distraught about a recent event in her life. You can read the full Associated Press story at the preceding link. Here's the gist of the story:

Ellen adopted a dog, spent lots of money having it vetted (including neutering) and trained. As much as she loved the puppy, it didn't get along with the other animals in her house, so she found it a home with her hairdresser. The hairdresser and her family (including two young girls) loved the puppy, and were giving it a loving home. So far so good, right? Well, Mutts and Moms (email them here[] or mail them at PO Box 50393, Pasadena, CA 91115) gave Ellen a call to check on little Iggy's progress. She was honest, and explained the situation. Mutts and Moms has a clause in their contract that stipulates that dogs cannot be placed in other homes once they've been adopted, they've got to go back to the agency if an adopter feels they can no longer take care of it. [As a side note, the M&M website states that most of their dogs are boarded in kennels, at a cost of $300/month, the average cost of care for one dog is $1000 from street to home. At those rates, you'd think they'd be thrilled to place a dog with someone with the spending power of Ellen Degeneres.] Because Ellen didn't send the dog back to the agency, but instead found it a loving and happy home with someone she knows well, the good folks at Mutts and Moms decided the obvious solution was to uproot the dog. They sent a representative to the hairdresser's home and removed the puppy.

If we remove all emotion from this situation, what's left is utter stupidity. Puppies are designed to make us love them, they're cute and squeaky and fuzzy. It's hard to remove the emotion, but when you do, you see that a struggling non-profit had an opportunity to receive an injection of star power and publicity and, instead, decided to commit business suicide. I have no idea how many dogs they've successfully placed over the years, or if their business was making a difference to the animals of Los Angeles. What I do know is that now, instead of a happy family and a happy dog, they've made millions of enemies all around the country. I imagine that won't do very much to encourage people to adopt dogs from rescues, and that isn't going to help anyone. Way to go, Mutts and Moms.

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