An animal shelter in Brooklyn is disputing Lena Dunham’s claims that her former dog, Lamby, had “challenging behaviour and aggression” that stemmed from “terrible abuse” the dog suffered as a puppy.
According to the Girls actress, Dunham and her boyfriend, Jack Antonoff, had given the dog to The Zen Dog, a professional facility in Los Angeles.
Robert Vazquez, a spokesman for the BARC no-kill animal shelter where she adopted Lamby, issued a statement on Thursday stating that dog didn’t have a long history of abuse.
“When she adopted the dog from us, it wasn’t crazy,” Vazquez told Yahoo Celebrity. “I have pictures of the dog loving on Lena and her mom, which is weird if the dog was abused. It wouldn’t be cuddling with her or be in the bed with her ‘boyfriend’ in the pages of Vogue.”
“If Lamby had a bad past or was abused, do you think BARC would have adopted him to Lena knowing she’s a new star and put her — or the dog — in that situation?” Vazquez continued. “We would have told her if the dog had issues. We are a no-kill shelter. We don’t lie about the dogs’ histories because that gets them returned — and mentally it’s not good for the dogs.”
Dunham alleged the dog’s previous abuse in an Instagram post on June 21 and stated her and Antonoff were unable to curb their pet’s behaviour.
“Lamby suffered terrible abuse as a pup that made having him in a typical home environment dangerous to him and others- we needed to be responsible to ourselves, our neighbors and especially our beloved boy,” Dunham wrote in the post.
Dunham said she did what she thought “the best mother would do,” which was to give him a life “that provided for his specific needs”.
Matt Beisner, trainer and owner of Zen Dog, told The Cut that Lamby was “a hot mess” when he arrived to the facility.
Beisner said the dog was heavily medicated, had a nasty temperament and was drinking his own urine. The dog has since stabilized and found a new home.
Dunham posted a lengthy response to BARC on Thursday, saying, “It’s come to my attention that the staff at the shelter where I adopted Lamby have a very different account of his early life and behavioural issues than I do. While I’m sorry to have disappointed them, I can’t apologize.”
She continued: “Lamby was and is one of the great loves of my life. When I met him I knew we’d have an amazing journey. But his aggression – which was unpredictable- and his particular issues, which remain myriad, weren’t manageable, at least not by me. I did what I thought the best mother would do, which was to give him a life that provided for his specific needs.”
She added, “I have weathered a lot of micro-scandals but this one hurts MOST, because of the vulnerability of letting people know Lamby and my story, and because I miss him so damn much. “
Michelle Cho, vice president of The Humane Society of the United States, has commended Dunham.
“Every dog is an individual with unique needs and all are deserving of a family or guardian in an environment in which he or she can thrive. We are deeply grateful to Lena and Jack for finding Lamby a loving home where he can do just that,” she wrote in a statement to Yahoo. “Lena is a wonderful advocate for dog adoption and hope she will continue to use her platform to spotlight the homeless animal crisis and urge her legions of fans to consider rescuing.”