HSUS and Ellen Degeneres – That Figures

Hey, Wayne Pacelle — if you get a chance while talking to Ellen, could you ask her what happened to all of those dogs she adopted and then dumped?

Is the HSUS OK with that, for the record? Are you guys OK with celebrities who adopt pets, only to dump them months or even just weeks after bringing them home? Is that HSUS policy now?

I’m going to assume it is, since you’re happy to hook your wagon onto her star, at least for the sake of publicity. That’s fair – it’s pretty much the same thing Ellen did to Pig, the French Bulldog she pimped on greeting cards and show segments, and then quietly disappeared from her life, and all of her promotional materials.

Could you especially ask her what happened to Pig? Some of us are kind of worried about him. Did she return him to the pet store, or turn him over to rescue, or hand him off to a hairdresser or the guy who details her car? Just give us a hint, if you could. We’d really like to know.

If you can spare time away from dancing with her, that is.

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?

The Ellen Fiasco – and Delilah Learns Bad Habits

It’s been a long time between posts, but there are mitigating circumstances – namely, a trip to Michigan to pick up Mz. Bunny, her sidekick Paris and the ever so lovely Divine. I also managed to squeeze in some work, a job change and a fevered bout of book reading.

First though, let’s address the truly important issues – Ellen DeGeneres and her absolutely mesmerizing on air break down. Has Ellen finally lost all of her marbles? Quite possibly. Do I feel sorry for her, in all her sobbing, sad sack glory? Not at all, and I’m not going to jump on that ‘Oooh, those mean old rescue groups’ band wagon, either.

Ellen adopted a dog, and that dog came with a contract, and that contract spelled out what she could and could not do with the dog once she had it. I’m willing to bet that Ellen signs lots and lots of contracts, on an almost daily basis, and employs lots and lots of people to make sure that the eensy weensy details of said contracts are spelled out in full to her. Tough cookies that Ellen either didn’t read, or didn’t understand this contract – or that, quite possibly, she just assumed that super-celeb stardom meant that such minute details could not possibly apply to her.

It’s not like this is the first time she’s dumped a dog that didn’t work out, either. She adopted a dog from an LA producer, only to toss it off to one of her staff a few months later.

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.”

So, yeah. My sympathy for Ellen is limited – and, lest you assume I’m one of those meanies who just enjoys picking on poor Ellen, bear in mind that this is the same woman who purchased a French Bulldog puppy from a pet store, as a gift. The dog, which she named Pig, is featured on her line of greeting cards. Funny thing is, no one is even sure if Ellen still has Pig – rumor has it that he didn’t work out, either.

In 2006, Degeneres and de Rossi were photographed buying an adorable white French bulldog. Earlier this year, the couple was spotted walking a playful white puppy. And, in 2003, there was Oakland, a cute border collie Degeneres adopted after seeing the dog on TV in San Francisco. However, it remains unclear if Ellen still has any of those dogs.

I suppose that I take all of this so seriously because I have a take back clause of my own in our sales contract. It’s simple, really – if you buy a dog from us, you can’t EVER get rid of it, for any reason, or in any way, without first notifying us and obtaining our permission to do so. We have it there because I want to always, always know where the dogs I’ve bred are, and that they are doing well. Simply put, I’m responsible for them, for life – and I take that responsibility seriously.

I once found out that a dog I’d placed in a ‘puppy back owed’ type scenario had been placed in rescue. I imagine you can guess how furious, how worried and how mortified I was. I phoned the woman who’d adopted my girl, and (initially quite irately) explained that this dog should never have been placed through rescue, and that the person who had given her up had no right to do so. The adopter was stunned, and apologetic, and it was a short phone call before I realized that she really was a good home, and my dog was in a better place than where she had been initially. That didn’t mitigate my anger, but it did mitigate my fear. It also made me tighten up my contract even more, and put a good lawyer on retainer – a lawyer I’m more than willing to use, if a repeat of that scenario ever happens in the future.

All of this is to say that yes, I can relate to a rescue group insisting on their contract being adhered to, and I can relate to expecting adopters or purchasers to uphold their end of the bargain we all enter into when we place living creatures into new homes. It’s about responsibility, and adhering to our word.

In Delilah related news, Sean has been teaching her some bad new habits – namely, barking on cue. This one is going to come back to bite him in the proverbial butt, trust me. There’s a video at the end of the post, of her in action, with him egging her on. Daddies and their little girls – what can you do?

I have three more looooong posts to come in the next few days – one I’ve been agonizing over, about the ethics of breeding for the show ring. Let’s hope my reputation can survive that one.

Delilah video after the cut Read more