ASPCA Gives Statement on Ellen Adoption

Daphne Reid
by Daphne Reid
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New York, United States (Oct 25th, 2007)

The ASPCA has responded to media reports and overwhelming public inquiries regarding the situation of Iggy, the dog adopted by Ellen DeGeneres from the Los Angeles-based rescue group "Mutts & Moms".

ASPCA Gives Statement on Ellen Adoption

Iggy was recently removed from Ms. DeGeneres' hairdresser's home after the rescue group learned of the re-homing that was conducted without its knowledge or prior approval as specified in its adoption contract. Said ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) President & CEO Ed Sayres, "Ms. DeGeneres' love and concern for animals has become practically iconic. As such, we have the utmost respect for her actions in trying to provide loving homes for animals in need-she sets a great example for not just other celebrities, but the entire American public."

"We also understand the point of view of Mutts & Moms. Several shelters, including our own, have similar language written into their contracts that essentially function as a safety net for the animals they adopt out, so that adopters know they can always bring the animals back in case the adoption doesn't work out. With an estimated five to seven million companion animals entering shelters every year, the last thing any responsible shelter wants to see is the unnecessary euthanasia of pets."

In the last week since the ASPCA issued this statement the Los Angeles Police Department have come out and stated that they believe that they made a mistake in the Ellen DeGeneres dog case as they should not have allowed Marina Baktis leave with Ellen's dog Iggy. Marina Baktis is the representative and big wig of Mutts and Moms whom Ellen adopted the dog Iggy from. Ellen then gave the dog to her hairdresser. Police are stating that they should have not allowed Baktis to remove the dog from the hairdresser of Ellen as they could have talked it out for a better resolution.

This news story is independently sourced and PetPeoplesPlace.com does not specifically endorse products or services offered by any company referenced in this article, or benefit from any association with any companies referenced.

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California
adriean
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Added on Nov 3rd, 2007
Bottom line is a binding contract was violated, and yes it's unfortunate what happened but rescue groups have their reasons for the way they do things, and had Ellen read the contract then all this might have been avoided. Peterdog1 I too read the same article. I don't know if it's true or not circumstances being what they are and how gossip flies when something like this happens, but if it is true then shame on Ellen. I've adopted twice from a rescue group in my area, the first time was a toy poodle 10 yrs old and the rescue group kept in touch with me over the years and I had her 8 yrs more after adopting her. Sophie was 18 when she passed. Second time was recently from the same rescue group and it has been 6 mos. and I am always getting little cards in the mail and invitations to dog parks or other little goings on, whatever they may be. So you see most all of the rescue groups take much interest in their little wards and they always try to do what is best for the animal and want to make sure that the pet will not be going from home to home after the adoption, this is the reason for contracts, because sometimes people become overwhelmed when adopting rescues because they sometims come with a little baggage as I call it and these are issues that most pets come with because of abuse or other things that may have happened in their lives. I believe in rescue groups and what these people do is try to give dogs and cats as stable a home as possible . So if the treatment that Ellen received seemed a little harsh, then try to understand it was for a good reason, although there should have a better soloution to all of this. and please don't forget that in their contract they say they will not adopt out to any family with children under the age of 14. I don't know why that is and I don't agree, but it's their contract and by signing Ellen agreed to follow the rules and she didn't.
   
Adriean
Massachusetts
Petedog1
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Added on Nov 1st, 2007
That's correct. Control. Also, due to the lawsuit happy state of our nation, limiting liability. Some dogs are O.K. to go to houses with children. Some are not. If an agency place a dog in a house with no children and then they gave the dog to a family with children and the dog bit the children, guess who gets sued? And these slick lawyers would look right at these agencies and ask "Don't you have procedures in place to prevent these?" or "You have procedures in place and sometimes you follow them and sometimes you don't"? And that's where these large settlements come into place and large legal fees that would then put an agency OUT OF BUSINESS. But to all the touchy feely folks that just feel bad for these poor kids, that doesn't matter. Their feelings are the most important thing.
West Virginia
vstatic
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Added on Oct 26th, 2007
Petedog-
   
The reason for the contract wording is simple. Control.
West Virginia
vstatic
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Added on Oct 26th, 2007
I have come to find a very disturbing fact amoung larger organizations regarding what is really BEST for the animals they represent. It's called "I am right and you are wrong!" My god if we don't realize that it is not about US but what is really best for animals, we're going to lose!! It does not have to be all the way to the right or all the way to the left. We must strive for balance. We can not make level-headed decisions when we forget about the animals best interest. On one end we have an organization that says "We are a no kill!" Yet realizing they simply have too many and regretfully have to put them to sleep in secret. Then we have one that wants to take a dog out of a home that is clearly responsible and loving because "Someone did not follow a contract!" This is only a couple of examples. I have many more. I have been involved and researched this subject and I am here to tell you it no longer has anything to do with what is right and what is wrong. PAWS here where I live have 60 cats in a small trailer and are very proud of the fact they do not put animals to sleep. This is not victory! This is insane! We have to put animals down. There is no other solution. Anyone who says logically otherwise is acting on ego and not reality. We must attack the issue of spay and neuter. I am out finding every dog and cat stray I can find and trapping and releasing after spay/neuter. Hey ya know what else? It is working. I just have to find alot more help. A little off subject. I am sure you get my point and best argument.
Florida
HoundHelper
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Added on Oct 26th, 2007
I posted the first response to this reply and have a couple of things to add.
   
I think the dog should have stayed with the family that Ellen gave it to until the family could have gone through the normal adoption process with the rescue group and only be taken away if for some reason the family was unacceptable. If that were the case then it would have been Ellen's fault again since she should have known what the requirements were.
   
One of the main reasons that rescue groups insist that the dogs come back to them is for their concern for the life of the dog, not just placing it in a good home for the moment.
   
What if an adopted dog is given to someone else (without the rescue's knowledge) who for some reason is unable to keep the dog. Since they have no obligation to return the dog to the rescue, they could very well turn it into a kill shelter. It's reasons like this that rescues have policies in place to prevent it from happening.
New Mexico
Jessiecat
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
I don't think the dogs should have to go back to the shelter if they are already in a good home. Regardless if all the "rules" weren't followed! Isn't that defeating the whole purpose of the rescue groups? Find the dogs a good home and just be happy with that! Don't be so caught up in your own agenda that you forget what your there to do in the first place!
Massachusetts
Petedog1
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
Why do you think they have language in the contract that if you can no longer keep the dog, you must return it to the shelter? I'd like your opinion on why you think that's in there.
New Mexico
Jessiecat
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
I said from everything I read and heard about the home. I wasn't there and I'm assuming you weren't either so who are we to say one way or another. All I know is there are alot of animals that need good homes and if Iggy was in a good home like was reported he should have been left there!
Massachusetts
Petedog1
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
And you know for a fact that it was a good home? Well in that case I guess I'm wrong. Let me ask you though, how tall was the fence in the fenced in back yard?
   
These are some of the things certain shelters look for when they interview potential people that want to adopt pets. But since you state the fact it was a good home, you must know more about the home than I do.
New Mexico
Jessiecat
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
I think alot of people forget that the main reason for the all the pet rescue groups is to find the animals good homes. From everything I've read and heard about Iggy he had a good home even though Ellen didn't follow the rules to the letter. Bottom line is the dog had a good home and was taken away because of a rescue worker that lost sight of what her job really is!
Massachusetts
Petedog1
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
So as long as a child feels bad or traumatized, it's O.K. to just do things your way and not follow any rules? What if everyone did this? This is how the world would work: "Sorry I didn't follow the rules but if I'm punished in any way, my child will be traumatized, so just let me do it my way" Now there are no rules. Everyone will just do what they want and cry victim if they don't get their way.
Mississippi
Fancydawg
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
This discussion is about regulations of animal rescue and the home that the said puppy was in. The puppy had bonded to the child and the Child apparently loved the puppy. The Child was extremely tramatized when it was taken away. This is about how the situation was handled by the rescue, not Poor Ellen senerio.
   
I feel bad for the family that had the dog. There are many animals that need a home. This one had a home. It's true about the theraphy that an animal can have with children. Especially one that lives in a split home situation. A dog can actually improve grades in school with reading. Children are very responsibe at the age of 12. They are cooking and cleaning and can be left alone. Children are tought to be more responsible these days with both parents that work.
Massachusetts
Petedog1
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
I read recently that this is the sixth or seventh time that Ellen has taken a dog and given it away. If that's true, I don't feel bad for what happened to her at all. I think she's crying because she didn't get her way.
   
North Carolina
joeyoey
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
I could write a book about how wrong I think the shelter was, but I'll keep it short and sweet.
   
Once the dog had already been re-homed they should have taken a step back & looked at the situation and realized that even though this isn't the situation they had originally expected, the dog was in a good home and it was in everyone's best interest. (& that's ultimately what their goal should be)
   
They should have let the dog stay there and give the family the chance to apply and unless they found out something drastic that none of us have yet to be made aware of they should have let Iggie stay put. That way they could spend this much time and energy re-homing another dog instead of being so nit-picky and petty over something.
   
The dog was in a good home & that should be the end of it. They should have moved onto something else.
Canada
carlap123
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Added on Oct 25th, 2007
Well, this whole situation, in my opinion, went out of control. In Canada, if you adopt a pet, and pay the fees, that dog is yours. If you need to be rid of the pet for some unforeseen reason, you find him an appropriate home, and the place of adoption has no say whatsoever. With that being said, I think that the adoption agency and their rule that a dog cannot reside in a home where there are children under the age of 14 years, which I had heard on CNN, they cannot have a dog. I think that this is a crazy rule. People need to understand how therapeutic a dog can be to a child. Ellen, I believe, gave the dog to a family that she trusted and she knew this family would love the dog, and unfortunately, the real victim is the child that already had fallen in love with the dog before they removed it. Essentially, that is kind of abusive to the child. When I watched the apprehension of the dog in the family's back yard, I was disgusted. That poor child stuck in all of that chaos. I am a Child and Youth Worker, and I have seen how a pet can change the life of a child, and also how it affects them when the pet is removed. So....I say shame on this agency, they should have went into the home, investigated how the dog is doing before they removed the dog from that child.
Georgia
sbond007
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Added on Oct 24th, 2007
I am involved in animal rescue....I can certainly understand both sides.....and I also think that BOTH sides reacted poorly.
   
Ellen should have taken the adoption contract seriously-it IS a legal and binding contract. There is A PROCEDURE to follow in situations such as this. Procedure wasn't followed, things got hairy and then got ugly.
   
Do I think that the animal shelter could have handled the situation differently- in spite of what had already taken place? YES.
   
Ellen should have followed the procedeure-which she SHOULD have KNOWN via the contract...but she didn't and another family and probably the little dog too, suffered because of it.
   
That said, I also think this family should have had a chance-just like any other...they should have been given the opportunity to fill out an application and go thru the approval (or denial) process.
   
I may be missing pertinent facts about this situation----I don't THINK I am....but, with knowing what I DO know, I feel that it was all handled poorly and inappropiately.....on Ellen's side and that of the shelter.
   
When it really boils down to it, isn't the whole point to find the animal a good home?
Florida
HoundHelper
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Added on Oct 24th, 2007
In spite of the fact that I love Ellen I think she did the wrong thing by not following the adoption agreement she signed. I also think she should have made more of an effort to work with the dog that she adopted. Perhaps a good trainer could have been useful with the problems she was having. And then if things didn't work out she should have contacted the rescue she got the dog from and asked them to rehome the dog. The friend she gave the dog to should have filled out an application with the rescue and if she had been approved all this could have been avoided. With the last rescue I was involved with we took in a dog name Freckles. I had a special bond with Freckles because within minutes after picking her up I helped her deliver her puppies. When it came for time for Freckles to be adopted I was glad to see she went to what looked like a good home. About a week later we got a call from Animal Services that Freckles had been turned into them. We microchip all our dogs and that's the only way we would have known. We got Freckle's back but I was pretty irrate with the people for not follwing the adoption agreement.