Ellen Degeneres with her French Bulldog Pig

Ellen Degeneres ‘Disappears’ Another Dog

I am starting to wonder if Ellen Degeneres is a sort of Bermuda Triangle of dog adopters — dogs go in, then disappear, never (except in the case of Iggy, who’s doing public service announcements) to be heard of again.

So, how many dogs has the Ellen Triangle ‘disappeared’? Everyone knows about Iggy, the dog Ellen adopted from beleaguered rescue group Mutts and Moms , only to dump on her hairdresser two weeks later, when the dog ‘wasn’t getting along with her cats’. Ellen’s televised breakdown, where she tearfully called for the return of the dog, did a great job of portraying her as the well meaning adopter, victimized by a cruel and heartless rescue group.

It’s hard for me to believe how easily convinced people were that this rescue is somehow evil – in spite of the fact that Mutts and Moms is dedicated to one of the hardest aspects of dog placement, pregnant and newly delivered bitches (that’s the ‘Moms‘ in ‘Moms and Mutts’). What I found even more surprising was that no one in the media called Ellen on her bullshit —  rather than being a victim, she has a long history as an impulse adopter with a penchant for dumping her pets.


Ellen Degeneres and Oakland the Border Collie

Ellen Degeneres and Oakland the Border Collie

A few people might remember Oakland the Border Collie (although it’s doubtful that Ellen does). It was 2003, and Ellen had just signed the deal for her television show. Ellen spotted Oakland in a commercial for the Oakland, California shelter where she was being held, and just had to have her. A few phone calls later, and the dog was ‘rushed to the airport’, where Ellen carried him onboard her private jet. Photo opportunity, ahoy!

A fairy tale ending — but Ellen didn’t keep Oakland. Hey, adolescent Border Collies are a lot of work, and probably not the best thing to take on when you’re in the middle of a whirlwind tour to promote your new television show. Oakland disappeared, and was never mentioned again.

A few years later, and Ellen preshadows the “Iggy Incident” when she ‘adopts‘ a dog from Los Angeles producer Kerri Randles.

Kerri Randles told Page Six that she gave DeGeneres a male mutt named Stormy two years ago, only to find out less than two months later that Ellen had given him to a member of her staff.

“She may have had it for much less time than that. I only say two months because that’s when I called to check on the dog and found out she no longer had it,” Randles said. “I was totally shocked. I thought she was out of her mind.”

A bit of digging turned up another dog — a so called ‘designer mix’ (read: mutt) she named “Morkie”. Where’s Morkie now? Who knows, but it’s no longer with Ellen.

In September of 2006, a press release was issued mentioning that Ellen and Portia had ‘taken in’ a French Bulldog named Pig. The release:

Comedienne ELLEN DeGENERES and her partner PORTIA DE ROSSI have added to their menagerie of animals after taking in a French bulldog they’ve called PIG.


Ellen Degeneres with her French Bulldog Pig

Ellen Degeneres with her French Bulldog Pig

‘Taken in’ later morphed into ‘adopted’, which in celebrity-ese generally means “bought at a pet store”. I checked, and none of the known French Bulldog rescue groups acknowledge having knowingly placed a Frenchie puppy with Ellen or her partner.

Pig became an important cog in the Degeneres publicity machine fairly quickly. Numerous photos of Pig ran on Ellen’s website, and he was mentioned by her frequently in her monologues.

Pig appeared on the show, as did two portraits of him painted by a fan.

Ellen even ran a video of ‘naughty’ Pig refusing to listen to her commands to go to his place and do a down. Apparently, it’s cute when Frenchies misbehave!

Here’s the video, which I had uploaded to Frenchie Friends on Ning.




Pig’s real fame, however, came when Ellen released her line of greeting cards in 2007. The 32 cards feature Ellen doing cutesy Ellen style things — and several also featured Pig.

Ellen Degeneres French Bulldog Greeting Cards

Ellen Degeneres and Pig on Her Line of Greeting Cards

Flash forward to today, and where’s Pig?

We have no idea, but we do know that Pig is gone. Gone completely, gone utterly, gone totally.

Pig has been removed from Ellen’s websites with near surgical precision of the kind you expect when the CIA ‘disappears’ someone.

His photos are gone from her website galleries, his mentions from her bios and releases. An old link to the original file for the Pig Steals the Cheese video leads to a dead link.

Commenters on Ellen’s site repeatedly ask “Where’s Pig?”, with never an answer. There are lots of rumors out there, but no Pig.

Is it true, as Howard Stern claims, that Ellen has done this – adopted and dumped dogs – “At least nine times?”. I don’t know.

What I do know is that her names needs a big read “DNA” sticker on it in the files of every rescue across the country – “Do Not Adopt”.

In the meantime, I’d still like to know where Pig is. Wouldn’t you?

45 replies
  1. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Very interesting. I remember the Iggy incident and agree Ellen was totally in the wrong. I felt so bad for the rescue people who were harassed and threatened due to the publicity. They even had to shut down the rescue for a time.
    Again celebrities can get away with many things that us “normal” people can’t.
    Collecting seems to be a celebrity habit, look at Paris Hilton.

  2. Emily
    Emily says:

    Who needs morals, when you have money? Hopefully it’s not adopted kids next. I can just picture that… *sigh*

    I really hope that Pig is in a Frenchie knowledgeable, responsible home. I’m not an Ellen fan at all (I find her horribly annoying, as does my TODDLER daughter), but I really loved all the Pig related things when I’d see them online 🙂

    Emily’s last blog post..One of us is a Bitch

  3. Libby
    Libby says:

    BRAVO and I commend you on this blog entry! I think that Ellen’s all-caring-and-fun-loving persona is as fake as the plastic fruit on my Grandmother’s table!! I truly feel horrible for all the pets she has displaced, and I honestly find it down-right abusive. As a result of Ellen selfishness, these animals underwent unnecessary transitions. Major transitions can be very taxing, stressful and traumatic to an animal and that damage is amplified with any abuse/abandonment history.
    I have realized that most people are afraid to speak the truth about Ellen, and some choose to ignore it. I often wonder why. Maybe their voices have been silenced by her entourage of highly skilled lawyers and publicists…. Today, I am thankful that your’s has not ……or, at least not yet! Keep up the good work!

  4. Katie
    Katie says:

    That’s truly disgusting. I knew about the BC and about Iggy, but not about the rest of them.

    I hope that Pig is in a responsible home where he’s not going to get dumped again when the novelty wears off.

    Katie’s last blog post..Rabies is alive and well.

  5. EmilyS
    EmilyS says:

    Well, let’s assume (because I hate to think otherwise) that Ellen is finding other homes for these dogs. Other than her own self-aggrandizement and kind of creepiness, how her behavior morally different from the average foster?

  6. frogdogz
    frogdogz says:

    how her behavior morally different from the average foster?

    Foster homes take in needy dogs and help them to acclimate while they wait for their forever homes. Ellen, on the other hand, impulse bought/adopted numerous animals, brought them into her home, loved them up and made a fuss over them, and then dumped them back at the shelter/friends house/pet store/Bermuda Triangle when they didn’t ‘work out’.

    If she’d been adopting Rawandan babies and then dumping them after six weeks because “Wah, diapers are a lot of work“, would you say she’s the same thing as an orphanage?

    There’s no rationalizing this. She’s an impulse shopper for animals. She’s no different then the myriad spoiled brats who get a pet store puppy and then dump it on rescue when they can’t deal with the reality of a living being that poops and chews the furniture. In her case, she’s worse, because she’s taking dogs that have already been bounced around and need stability, not a guest shot on her stupid show.

  7. EmilyS
    EmilyS says:

    well, I think you’re romanticizing fosters.
    Of course your description is what many of them do and bless them for it.

    But some are hoarders. And some accumulate animals and keep them in cruel conditions.

    Your comparison to Rwandan babies is not apt. The last I checked, dogs are not people, and only AR types (who don’t want us to have pets at all) think they are.

    • Debi B
      Debi B says:

      I don’t believe in “pets”. I only believe in non-human members of the family and Degeneris, like so many other people, does not deserve to have these wonderful beings in her care.

    • Linda Reptik
      Linda Reptik says:

      Animals may not be human, but they are living, breathing, feeling beings who are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. They also have emotions..love, anger, fear, loyalty & devotion etc. They are not disposable. If one is not prepared to take care of an animal for it’s entire life…don’t get it in the first place! We owe them that much!

    • BrendaJ
      BrendaJ says:

      We check our prospective foster homes very closely. Do they have a fenced area, a must, how many dogs, cats, hampsters, etc do they have to mention only a two things we check. We check these things out personally, in person…we do not take their word for anything. Foster homes are not hoarders! We also control how many foster dogs any one home can have at one time and that is based on how many of their own animal, not dogs, not cats but animals in total, they have. Hoarders are hoarders and most want nothing to do with rescue.

      And you are right, dogs are not people but they are very much like babies. They can’t take care of themselves just like babies. This is because we humans made them dependent on us. We domesticated them, we took their freedom and now they lack the skills to survive in the wild.

    • MeyerS
      MeyerS says:

      A soul is a soul is a soul Emily. Whether it’s in the form of a baby (Rwandan or otherwise), a puppy or a fish, it’s still a breathing living being and should be treated and respected as one. If she did this to a child she’d be in jail (k, maybe not she is a celeb after all) but because it’s an animal it’s okay? I fully agree with frogdogz!

  8. frogdogz
    frogdogz says:

    Look, you’re being intentionally obtuse if you can’t see the difference between someone who fosters a dog on a temporary basis, with the understanding that the dog will transfer to a new, permanent home once it is found, and Ellen — who adopts or buys dogs, giving the rescues full assurance that this dog will have a home with her for life, only to dump it when she tires of it.

    Fosters don’t keep dogs — that’s the very definition of a foster home. It means someone who temporarily looks after a dog, cat or other animal (or child, for that matter). Adopters like Ellen are supposed to keep their dogs, or at least after the tenth time maybe they should figure out that they’re better suited to cats. Or fish. Or pet rocks.

    It’s the simple difference between honesty, and lies. Ellen says “Ohh, I’ll love this doggie forevah! Happy dance, etc”, and then pawns it off on underlings weeks later. She’s an impulse shopper, an impulse adopter, and a bad, bad choice for a new home.

    And, as I said, thank God she hasn’t started accumulating adopted babies. Yet. I can just hear it now “Ehh, I don’t like this baby anymore. Hey, someone ask my hairdresser if they want a baby”.

    • Nicki
      Nicki says:

      Well said, on both comments. Is there anyway to verify the whereabouts of any of the animals or to confirm or dismiss the accusations? What do her “people” have to say??

  9. Michelle Erbach
    Michelle Erbach says:

    THANK YOU for this blog entry! I was just googling trying to find out what happened to PIG but couldn’t find anything then your blog came up.

    Being owned by a Frenchie I was in love with PIG when Ellen had his face all over the place but it has bugged me for a long time as to why we never hear about him any more. I had a nagging suspicion that this might be the issue.

    I’m glad i found your blog, I have you bookmarked now. 🙂

  10. virginia
    virginia says:

    Ellen is a lot like the Humane Society of the United States, which she is a fan of. They are not a humane socieity at all – they are a lobbying group who relies on deception and innocent, gullible people. hsus wants a vegan world and is slowly getting it done with lobbying etc. See more info on hsus at humanewatch.org.

    • godzencharge
      godzencharge says:

      Bravo Virginia for posting humanewatch.org! I never cease to be amazed by how many 501c3’s and animal welfare advocates do not realize that the HSUS and PETA are not our friends. Just bc someone has an endless supply of money, does not make them a good parent or pet parent.

  11. Amber
    Amber says:

    If we as rescuers don’t think that our adoptive homes then rehome a dog, we’re dellusional!! People even lie during follow-up calls and emails, trust me, I’ve had it happen when the dog was already back in our hands and the adopter was telling us how great her adopted dachshund was doing. Sticking Ellen on a DNA list for every rescue across the country is doing NOTHING for our rescue dogs, because she can just go to any average breeder, shelter, or (god forbid) pet store and pick up another one. I’d much rather have a celebrity rehome a dog than cost the lives of others while that dog stays in rescue.

  12. Resquedk9
    Resquedk9 says:

    IF someone breaks a adoption contract and does not tell you where that dog is, then I do not care if they have millions of dollars, they have broken a legal and binding contract and I will Pin them as A DNA…
    I would never adopt to her, and I would classify her as a DNA, I value the dog…Our logo is that the dog is to be part of the family, you do not dump a family member when you no longer want to deal with them…..

    Hmmm what kind of role model is she, and the worst part is that she is a spokesperson for Natural Balance maybe someone needs to let Dick Van Patten know how much she really loves dogs……. So much that she ditches them,,,,,,,,

  13. Heather
    Heather says:

    Boooooooooooo to Ellen – she just lost my viewing – once is a mistake, second time is on purpose and third time, it’s game over –

  14. Debra W
    Debra W says:

    Ellen endorsed & raved over this movie…I like Ellen but am questioning her sincerity about animals….
    The Hangover – animal abuse….I’m sounding off on something…I watched “The Hangover”…there were some funny parts but what I’m upset about is the gesture of ”butt raping” a beautiful tiger and then another scene where a chicken was just swept off/knocked off the counter….it isn’t funny to me gesturing of raping an animal when this is very real and animals are abused this way, my friend just rescued a 9 mo old Anotolian Shepherd who was repeatedly raped by a 19 yr old – so upsetting – I have another friend who rescues cats and some of them have been raped, another friend rescued a horse who was repeatedly raped …. oh and the other thing they talked about was setting ferrets on fire on both ends….some sicko will pick up on this and do it…I’m so ashamed this movie has gotten such rave reviews from “animal lovers” like Ellen Degeneres….I’m really sorry we fell for it in our home….

    For those who would like to say to me “get over yourself” please don’t because until you are in the business of rescuing abused animals you can’t begin to understand how horrendous it is and what animals & little children endure for the pleasure of some sick bastard.

  15. april
    april says:

    give it a rest people!!! look at the other end of it…im not a huge fan of ellen, nor did i know about all the animals she rescued…

    so they all disappeared from her ‘hollywood life’ and exposure to find other homes around the corner…just by having herself (or any other celebrity) once own any pet needing to become rescued, will outragously crank-up the chances for those pets to become adopted.

    so stop griping…she quickens any pernament home for an animal she takes temporality takes in-

  16. Audrey
    Audrey says:

    Yeah, but that’s the thing. It doesn’t quicken a permanent home for the animals. It encourages a lackluster attitude toward adoptions. If she’s passing animals off to people because they’re too hard to take care of, she’s teaching the lesson to viewers who don’t know any better, or the people that now have the animals, that the reason to get rid of a pet is because it’s hard. All three of our pets are rescues, and sometimes there are problems. Maybe one of them gets sick and starts having accidents, maybe one of them gets stressed during storm season and won’t eat. WHen you adopt a pet, you PROMISE and make a committment to that pet and the rescue that it came from that you will deal with these situations, not simply give the animal away to someone who will then likely give it away for the same reasons later. It is a big deal, Ellen is a HUGE role model and she’s teaching a VERY BAD lesson about animal adoptions.

    • april
      april says:



  17. Audrey
    Audrey says:

    And if her intentions are innocent, as they likely are, then Ellen should learn about what it takes to be a foster home, go through the official steps, adhere to the proper ettiquette, and educate the world about that instead of just doing things her way behind the scenes because she can. Just because you have done things a certain way your entire life doesn’t make it the right way, and in this case, right equals what’s best for the animals! She’s a positive person with loving intentions, but I don’t know if she even realizes this chain of adoptions has done way more harm than good for so many animals out there. If she did, maybe she would change.

  18. Joe
    Joe says:

    Ah, I see, Ellen is like Tiger Woods, and doesn’t have to follow the rules? She can just adopt dog after dog and then dump it, not returning it to the rescue group she adopted from? Those ARE legal contracts, after all, and most that I know of have a clause that REQUIRES the dog be returned to the rescue group if it can’t stay in the adoptive home. I understand that as rescuers, we can’t be everywhere and see everything, but THIS HAS HAPPENED NINE TIMES THAT WE KNOW OF. I sure wouldn’t place an animal with her. Not because she harms the animal (and being bounced to yet another home isn’t good for the dog), but because SHE LIES!!!!!!!!!!!! Better watch out Portia, you may disappear next, since Ellen thinks she is exempt from the rules!!!!!!!

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      I know that her fans have repeatedly asked for Pig updates on her forums, and no one has ever gotten an answer.

      Here’s an interview with “People Pets”, from Jan 2009. She says:

      I have two dogs and three cats. The dogs are Wolf and Mabel and the cats are Charlie, George, and Chairman.

      Q: How old are all of them and what breed are they?

      A: Mabel is, she just turned eight … She’s a standard poodle and then Wolf [he’s] probably three and a half now. He’s kind of a poodle-Maltese mix and he’s a rescue off of the street. And all three cats are rescue and they are probably anywhere from four to seven or eight. It’s hard to tell their ages. They were full-grown when we got them so we don’t know how old.

      She says that the poodle was a breeder retiree, and she rescued Wolf when she bought him from a crazy man on the street. Interview here – http://www.peoplepets.com/news/celebrities/exclusive-ellen-degeneres-chats-about-her-pets/1

      No mention of Pig, or any of the other dogs she’s adopted over the years.

  19. Tiffers
    Tiffers says:

    This is all rather pathetic. I don’t understand how you all get off judging someone and their lifestyles when you dont even KNOW them. As to your little, she must have bought Pig because you apparantely have the key to all adoption information at all time, for any adoption, any person: Give me a break. Ive rescued 4 purebred dogs from run of the mill, tiny little shelters just trying to keep up with the demand of homeless animals without murder involved, NOT breed specific rescues. Two of which, my Spitz and my Flat Coated Retriever, I didn’t even have a clue what I was adopting, just really love the dog’s temperament. My husband did the same for our Corgi.He just loved the dog and when he took me to see it, I knew it was a Corgi. None of our animals were adopted by breed specific standards. They were adopted because they were trapped in hole-in-the-wall shelters, just trying to do the right thing. But I guess since YOU couldn’t call and find information on them at breed specific rescues, that MUST mean I bought them, doesn’t it?!
    The day you meet Ellen Degeneres and she tells you, ‘yeah i got tired of them so I threw them away to whoever would take them’ Then and only then will I take your word she’s this awful monster of a dog adopter. But for all you know, she has the best intentions of rescuing a dog then just finding out her schedule and/or lifestyle isn’t suited for that. Or maybe it once was (probably in the case of Pig) but it got busier and now it isn’t. Its easy for us to condemn her, as we sit here, working 9-5s (some of us not even that), coming home and sitting down and loving on our pups/furry children. But if anyone of us lived her lifestyle, which is growing busier everytime I hear her name, we would feel awful for our babies and the lack of time we had to spend with them. Think of the other side as if you WERE the other side and tell me you wouldn’t do the same of placing your little love with somewhere you KNOW he’d get the love and care he deserves.
    Stop being so ‘holier-than-thou’ and think about the other side. You dont know Ms. Degeneres from a stranger on the street corner, so what gives you the right to say she’s a bad person or a dog collector? Get over yourself.

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      As to your little, she must have bought Pig because you apparantely have the key to all adoption information at all time

      I know she bought Pig because
      a) the initial version of her official press release said that she did,
      and b) I’ve spoken to someone who bought the second Frenchie that was for sale at Pets of Bel at the same time as Pig was

      But for all you know, she has the best intentions of rescuing a dog then just finding out her schedule and/or lifestyle isn’t suited for that.

      And hey, you know what? I could accept that, if, say, it happened to you once. But seven times? After the first half dozen, I think you’d have figured out the whole ‘don’t have the time for a dog in my busy schedule’ thing. Talk about your slow learners.

      so what gives you the right to say she’s a bad person or a dog collector

      I never said she was a hoarder/collector – they keep their dogs. Far too many of them, but they sure do keep them. Ellen is what she is – an impulse adopter/buyer with no follow through or understanding of the actual logistics involved in too many of the dogs she’s gotten for herself over the years.

      On the plus side, she seems to have slowed down recently, likely because I’m not the only one to have noticed she’s the Bermuda triangle of dog adopters.

      Oh, and the whole ‘where do you get off, who do you think you are’ thing? Honey, it’s a blog. I can talk about how I think elves live in the bottom of my garden, if the mood strikes me. Me, I like Frenchies, and it interests me to see where dogs that celebs have used to pimp their latest product lines actually end up. You’re free to start your own touting teh sooper awesomenesses of Ellen. Knock yourself out.

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      Well, that’s interesting – because this makes TWO dogs that Ellen apparently gave to makeup artists. I need to look into this a bit more. I have to wonder if there are any dogs she actually does KEEP.

  20. Jed
    Jed says:

    even if this is true (which I kinda think it might be) why are you all being so hard on ellen? she isn’t perfect… she really has done a lot of good throughout the years and we need to keep that in mind. Hindsight is 20/20 as we know. I am sure she didn’t think to herself “oh, i’m going to adopt this cute puppy and then give it away in 3 weeks”. let’s all just give her the benefit of the doubt. you know that even if she did rehome pig or any other animals she wouldn’t just hand it to anyone. if nothing else, she is kind hearted, so i know int he end she meant well no matter what the ending.

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      why are you all being so hard on ellen? she isn’t perfect… she really has done a lot of good throughout the years and we need to keep that in mind. Hindsight is 20/20 as we know. I am sure she didn’t think to herself “oh, i’m going to adopt this cute puppy and then give it away in 3 weeks”.

      Giving away dog because it’s not the fit for your life one time? That I can accept.

      Twice? OK, maybe you’re just not a good planner.

      Three times? Four times? Five, possibly even six or seven times?

      You just ran out of chances to get ‘the benefit of the doubt’ – rather, you just landed yourself smack in “serial adopter whack job territory”.

      You know who Ellen HASN’T done a lot of good for? All of those dogs she’s adopted and then dumped. For them, her sainthood halo is sitting rather shaky at the moment.

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