Agency Refuses to Return Ellen DeGeneres’s Dog

Rescue agency's owners receive death threats in response to the publicity.

Posted: October 18, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

The rescue agency that took back Ellen DeGeneres’s dog Iggy from her hairstylist’s family has rejected the talk show host’s teary plea to return the adopted dog.

DeGeneres explained on Tuesday’s “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that Mutts and Moms picked up the terrier mix from her hairstylist’s home on Sunday after DeGeneres told an agency representative who called to check on the dog that she had given Iggy away because he was too rambunctious, a move that violated an adoption agreement the talk show host signed on Sept. 20.

The owners of Mutts and Moms, Marina Batkis and Vanessa Chekroun, refused to return the dog because they have a rule against placing small dogs in homes with children younger than 14. DeGeneres’s hairstylist has two daughters, ages 11 and 12.

“She [Batkis] is adamant that she is not going to be bullied around by the Ellen DeGenereses of the world,” said attorney Keith A Fink, who is not legally representing the owners but spoke to the media on their behalf. “They are using their power, position and wealth to try to get what it is they want.”

Fink says Batkis and Chekroun received several death threats as the result of all the publicity.

DeGeneres reiterated to her audience on Wednesday’s show that “the dog needs to go to the family.”

He “just needs to be in a good home,” she said.


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Katie   Suwanee, GA

11/21/2007 7:45:36 AM

It dosen't say why they refuse to give the dog back. Maby they have a good reson, maby there just being idiots. We don't know for sure, so we cant judge them.

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Jeanne   Auburn, ME

10/18/2007 10:12:26 AM

Ellen signed the agreement. She knowingly broke the rules. She is the one a fault not the agency.

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Cheril   Amarillo, TX

10/18/2007 7:28:12 AM

I have the read the comments from two of your readers that posted their comments before mine. Once again, rules are rules and they are meant to be followed until the decision is made to change them. They are not made to be bent, no matter the circumstance! Ellen DeGeneres needs to stop talking about this and move on to one of her many other topics that she seems to know about so well ... i.e., morals, values ... but then again, she's not stupid! She is getting a lot of publicity, much to my disappointment!

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Holly   Studio City, CA

10/18/2007 6:38:41 AM

Rescue agencies shouldn't turn down good families because of the perceived notion that little ones are bad with small dogs. If they family was gentle and caring, then go through the procedure with the new family and ask for a donation/rescue fee. The dog will have been placed with loving owners and the rescue group gets funds to continue their work. All dogs need forever homes and a pup shouldn't be denied one on a "no small dogs with kids under 14" policy. Sure, Ms DeGeneres violated the contract she signed, however, she did not dump the dog in the street. She found a loving home for the little guy instead of being another irresponsible owner. No one deserves to be threatened with their life, if that indeed happened, however, the rescue groups owners might want to try being a bit more flexible and not as stubborn because they're getting a trial of public opinion. If the dog was happy with the family, the dog should be with the family. The dog is the most important thing in this issue.

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