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Columnist Linda Milazzo Offers Deeper Understanding of Degeneres Confrontation with Mutts & Moms

This situation with Iggy has become an emotionally charged fiasco, damaging everyone. Columnist Milazzo provides a much better understanding of all sides involved. Thanks to...

Joy  |  Oct 23rd 2007


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This situation with Iggy has become an emotionally charged fiasco, damaging everyone. Columnist Milazzo provides a much better understanding of all sides involved.

Thanks to Donna B. for barking in this article from The Huffington Post.

Linda Milazzo
Ellen DeGeneres’ Misuse of the Media and a Challenge to Right that Wrong
Posted October 21, 2007

For the past two days I’ve been immersed in conversations with several principals in the Ellen DeGeneres-Mutts & Moms-Iggy the Pup fiasco. And fiasco it is. I’ve spoken with Ellen’s publicist, Ellen’s dog trainer, the Vice President of Publicity for Telepictures (which produces Ellen’s show), the attorney for Marina Baktis and Vanessa Chekroun (owners of Mutts & Moms in Pasadena, CA), and several respected animal rescue experts in the Los Angeles area – many who have worked with Mutts & Moms.

This past Monday, on her popular daytime talk show, Ellen DeGeneres dissolved into tears as she recounted her experience of adopting a puppy (Iggy) from a pet adoption agency (Mutts & Moms in Pasadena, CA – which to her credit, DeGeneres didn’t name). After two weeks, Ellen and her partner, Portia de Rossi, decided Iggy was incompatible with their household and gave Iggy to Ellen’s hairdresser (Cheryl Marks) and the hairdresser’s eleven and twelve year old daughters. But the legal contract Ellen signed with Mutts & Moms forbade Ellen from giving Iggy away, and required Iggy to be returned to the Agency should Ellen decide not to keep him. By giving 7 lb. Iggy to her hairdresser and not returning him to Mutts & Moms as stipulated, Ellen broke her contract. As a result, Mutts & Moms went to the hairdresser’s home, where, in the presence of the police, they confiscated Iggy, returned him to their agency, and found him another home.

Germane to this synopsis is the resultant vitriol that drove the HUMANS involved to such an impasse that rational negotiation on Iggy’s behalf became impossible. Mutts & Moms failed to give the hairdresser’s family its fullest consideration as legitimate adopters, and used its legal leverage to remove Iggy from a home where he was wanted. DeGeneres used the full extent of her celebrity to ignite a fan-based frenzy that resulted in death threats to the impoverished owners of Mutts & Moms. In addition, Baktis and Chekroun have likely lost their animal rescue business and small store. An online petition to Free Iggy has been launched by Ellen’s supporters, while an earlier online petition, which asked petitioners not to adopt from animal rescue organizations until Iggy is returned, has rightfully been taken down.

Still the saddest repercussion of all is the potential for tens of thousands of dogs and cats to go unadopted, and to be euthanized, due to the anger engendered toward rescue groups as a result of this debacle.

Follow this link to read the rest of the post.