ASPCA Issues Statement on Controversy Around Ellen DeGeneres’ Adoption and Re Homing of Family Dog

NEW YORK, October 17, 2007 —The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today 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, who 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 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.”

All shelters in the United States function as independent entities, each with their own specific adoption policies. “Had a similar situation been encountered with an ASPCA adopter,” said Sayres, “and had the new home met our adoption criteria, in all likelihood we would have encouraged the new home environment for the animal. Furthermore, the ASPCA applauds those who provide responsible pet care by providing veterinary needs—such as spaying or neutering—behavior training, as well as providing the animal with a safe and loving home.

“We would encourage Mutts & Moms to re-visit their approach to this situation and look forward to a positive outcome that reinforces the importance of pets in our society and the human-animal bond.”

If you have questions about the ASPCA’s position on this issue, please call (212) 876-7700, ext. 4650. We thank you for your concern and for all you do to help animals.


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