Many stars have come under fire for their pet ownership, including Raquel Leviss and Pete Davidson.
The Vanderpump Rules star and then-fiancé James Kennedy adopted their pooch, Graham Cracker, amid their early courtship. After they split in December 2021, Leviss retained custody of the dog, but many costars called out his poor behavior.
“Rachel would bring Graham over [to my house], who is honestly a terror,” Ariana Madix claimed during a May 2023 appearance on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast. “He bit me before. Just putting it out there. He’s not a well-trained dog [and] he’s kind of a little jerk.”
Graham’s behavior led Leviss to enroll him in behavioral classes to no avail. Leviss’ mom, Laura Leviss, alleged in July 2023 that working with trainers did not stop his habits and that Graham bit her “to the bone,” as well as injured the trainers and his new owner.
Davidson, for his part, purchased a cavapoo puppy from a New York City pet store in June 2023, which nonprofit PETA condemned and claimed he should have adopted a rescue pet instead. The Saturday Night Live alum subsequently left PETA a scathing voicemail about his intentions.
“I haven’t seen my mom and sister cry like that in over 20 years,” Davidson told TMZ at the time, in reference to watching his family mourn their late dog. “I was trying to cheer up my family. I was already upset that the store had filmed me without my permission or acknowledgement. Then this organization made a public example of us, making our grieving situation worse. I am upset. It was a poor choice of words. I shouldn’t have said what I said, but I am not sorry for standing up for myself and my family.”
Keep reading for a breakdown of the biggest pet scandals through the years:
After Raquel entered a mental health facility in March 2023 following her affair with Tom Sandoval, her mom took in Graham. However, the pup caused “severe damage” when he bit Laura and she sent him to California Doodle Rescue for training. “My daughter nor I ever dumped Graham and want nothing but the best for him,” Laura told Entertainment Tonight in July 2023.
After several failed attempts to rehome Graham, Kennedy decided to take in the pooch. “Look who made his way back home, back into my life. I’ll take care of you forever, and I love you,” he wrote via Instagram at the time.
Daphna Nachminovitch, the senior vice president of cruelty investigations at PETA, told Us Weekly in June 2023 that it was “tragic” that Davidson did not choose to adopt a dog from an animal shelter over purchasing a puppy from a store. “Since shelters in New York and across the country are overflowing with homeless animals, PETA urges Pete to show some big heart energy by adopting, not shopping, in the future,” Nachminovitch said.
Davidson later told TMZ that he was looking for a hypoallergenic breed because of his family’s allergies.
The Don’t Worry Darling director and ex-fiancé Jason Sudeikis’ children’s former nanny — who sued the former couple for wrongful termination — claimed that Wilde gave up her puppy in order to date Harry Styles. (Wilde, who split from the One Direction alum in November 2022, has denied leaving Sudeikis for Styles.)
“Gordy was adopted to @oliviawilde at 2 months old and after giving him much love and training and travel adventures, she realized that Gordy didn’t love the travel life and wasn’t happy around toddlers,” Mae Day Rescue, an animal rescue based in Los Angeles, wrote via Instagram in October 2022, denying the claims and revealing that the dog has since found his forever home.
Lisa Vanderpump and Dorit Kemsley
Puppygate rocked The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 9 when Kemsley was accused of dumping pup Lucy — whom she adopted from former costar Vanderpump’s rescue organization — at a kill shelter. Kemsley, however, has denied dumping the dog, noting that she gave Lucy to a friend after the canine bit her and PK Kemsley’s children: Jagger and Phoenix. According to the swimsuit designer, the pal was the one who actually abandoned the canine. The scandal fractured the two women’s RHOBH friendship.
“Lisa and I have been friends for a while, and we go into the season that way,” Dorit exclusively told Us in February 2019, noting she felt betrayed by the SUR owner. “And there’s a few things that I’m enlightened to and things have a way of twisting and turning.”
Kardashian was accused of keeping her family’s two Pomeranians, Sushi and Sake, in the garage instead of inside her Calabasas mansion. Her eldest daughter, North, uploaded a since-deleted TikTok video in December 2022 of the pups in the exterior space, where they were gated off but surrounded by their toys and Christmas stockings. Kardashian, however, has not addressed the allegations.
Jenelle Evans and David Eason
Us confirmed in April 2019 that the Teen Mom 2 alum’s husband, Eason, shot and killed her dog Nugget in a fit of rage in March 2019 after the pup “snapped at” their daughter Ensley.
“I dont give a damn what animal bites my baby on the face… whether it be your dog or mine, a dog is a dog and I dont put up with that s–t at all,” he wrote via Instagram at the time. “I’m all about protecting my family, it is my lifes mission. Some people are worth killing or dying for and my family means that much to me. You can hate me all you want but this isnt the first time the dog bit Ensley aggressively. The only person that can judge weather [sic] or not a animal is a danger to MY CHILD is ME.”
Evans initially considered ending her marriage, but they were able to work things out after Eason completed an anger management course.
Wallen’s son was bitten in the face by his mother KT Smith’s dog Legend in June 2023, leading the 2-year-old to need stitches. Smith, who dated the country singer between 2017 and 2019, decided to rehome the dog.
“I can’t be a mom that keeps a dog in the house when my child is also traumatized, probably, from that,” Smith said via her Instagram Story. “I can’t be a good dog mom to him keeping a muzzle on him or a good mom in general having a kid just really scared of him in the home.”
Wallen, for his part, did not address the scandal or his son’s injury.
Cheryl Burke and Matthew Lawrence
After the Dancing With the Stars alum and Lawrence settled their divorce in 2022, he planned to sue her for custody of their French bulldog, Ysabella. (Lawrence had previously gifted the dog to Burke for their wedding.)
“I am still really hurt by the whole situation because that is my dog. Ysabella is my daughter; I am a dog mom,” Burke said on her “Burke in the Game” podcast in October 2022. “I couldn’t even imagine my life without her. I could just cry right now.”
Us confirmed in January 2023 that Burke was awarded all ownership rights to Ysabella with Lawrence agreeing to give up any documentation or data pertaining to the pet.
Zolciak-Biermann and her husband, Kroy Biermann, revealed during a November 2017 episode of their Don’t Be Tardy reality TV show that their son Kroy had been bitten by their dog, Sinn, near his eye.
“I had the leaf blower on my back. Sinn doesn’t like the blower so he was already on high alert,” Kroy recalled of the incident, which occurred the previous April. “[Kash] pulls his hands down and there’s multiple lacerations. I can’t see his eye. All I see is dark. … I know that it’s a very dire emergency.”
Kash was hospitalized for four days, where he underwent surgery and received eight stitches.
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If you are aware that an animal is in imminent danger, please call your local police department or the ASPCA at 844-692-7722.