UK reality TV star Joey Essex landed himself in hot water after he shared a photo of his new Doberman puppy on social media. The young pup, Pinscher, was pictured near a swimming pool and became the center of controversy for its cropped ears.
Joey, famous for his role in The Only Way is Essex, a sort of British answer to Jersey Shore, recently adopted a Doberman pup from a friend. However, contrary to his expectations, the actor was stunned by angry replies from animal lovers.
Ear clipping for cosmetic reasons has been outlawed in the United Kingdom since 2006 (it can still be carried out by veterinarians for medical reasons). However, some dog owners continue to subject their puppies to this trauma, which is typically performed without anesthesia and involves cutting parts of the outer ears off to make their ears point higher and give them a more aggressive appearance.
Following the outcry, Essex removed the offending tweet and announced that he had decided to return the dog since he is opposed to animal abuse. “I fell in love with him and genuinely wanted to give him a home,” he told MailOnline. However, adopting him as a pet would excuse this terrible practice, sending the incorrect message to my admirers and followers.
So @JoeyEssex_ has returned a cropped Doberman he ‘adopted’ & acknowledged it sends wrong message to his followers. I hope he will also post about this on his social media channels to ask his followers to sign the petition to get the import ban in place:https://t.co/omLpHnJvbI pic.twitter.com/dCHzqwEuRw
— Sean McCormack MVB (@ThatVetSean) September 1, 2022
That seems a little harsh on the poor puppy, who can’t control what’s happened to it. Many fans have been outraged by Essex’s decision to return the dog to its original owner-who, it appears, got its ears clipped in the first place-and remove all mention of it from social media.
Sean McCormack, a vet and TV presenter, is among those urging Essex to take a firmer stance on the matter and to encourage their followers to sign a petition to bring in the Kept Animals Bill, which would, among other things, prohibit the import of dogs with cut ears.