Lena Dunham defends giving up Lamby, her beloved rescue dog.

Lena Dunham defends giving up Lamby, her beloved rescue dog.

Update July 7, 2017 3:37 PM:

Lena Dunham's long-time boyfriend Jack Antonoff just weighed in on Lambygate. He posted three tweets in a row, saying that Lena loved Lamby but he bit her twice and her father once, and despite the fact that it was a hard decision, she opted to rehome the dog.

His tweets don't address the contract that Dunham signed promising to return Lamby to the Brooklyn animal rescue should she need to give him up.

Original Post:

On Thursday, the Brooklyn animal shelter from which Lena Dunham adopted her beloved rescue dog, Lamby, disputed Dunham's claims that the dog "suffered terrible abuse" prior to being placed with her. Longtime Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC) employee Robert Vazquez told Yahoo, "We checked the records for Lamby. He was ‘owner surrendered, not enough time,’ so we do not know where she got ‘multiple owners that abused the dog.’"


Dunham responded to the resulting backlash on Thursday night with an Instagram post featuring a painting of Lamby. In the caption, she wrote "Staff at the shelter where I adopted Lamby have a very different account of his early life and behavioral issues than I do." She wondered, "Why should this story be subject to scrutiny and anger?"

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 behavioral issues than I do. While I'm sorry to have disappointed them, I can't apologize. 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. He'd been with me for nearly four years and I was his mom- I was in the best position to discern what those needs were. After countless hours of training, endless financial support and a lot of tears he was given access to a better life. I still support him financially and I'll always be there for him in every way but he's notably happier in his new surroundings. Why should this story be subject to scrutiny and anger? It is willfully misunderstanding the truth. I hope those judging can imagine the incredible pain of letting go of your favorite creature on EARTH because you know you can't help them be healthy and happy. I would never say an unkind word about the staff of BARC, what they do is amazing and life saving for these animals- but we have different accounts of Lamby's behavior and they were not present in my home nor did they live with him for an extended period. They did not witness the consistent and responsible care I provided. 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. This is the painting that greets me every day when I walk into my home. This is the animal who taught me about loving and letting go. I know I'm a lot of fun to place your issues on, but I won't let anyone hang their hat on this peg. Not this time.

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Over the years, Lamby frequently appeared on both Dunham and her boyfriend Jack Antonoff's Instagrams, and he even had his own Instagram and Twitter accounts. But in the past few months, Lamby hadn't appeared in many of Dunham's own Instagrams. In a June 21 Instagram post she explained why, claiming that after "four years of challenging behavior and aggression that could not be treated with training or medication or consistent loving dog ownership," she could no longer keep him, for the her own safety and that of Antonoff, their neighbors, and Lamby himself.


A source told People that Dunham had the dog checked out by at least six veterinarians who diagnosed Lamby with brain damage.

I'm hot and you're not, but if you want to hang with me I'll give it one shot, TOP THAT!

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But in an email to Yahoo, Vasquez wrote that he was actually there when Dunham adopted Lamby, “because I’ve been in-charge of the dogs for the last 14-15 years at BARC." He explained, "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? 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 dogs.”


In a 2013 New Yorker piece Dunham wrote about life with Lamby called "Canine Cravings," Dunham admitted that her hectic work schedule probably wasn't ideal for a dog, but she adopted one anyway. While her intentions were obviously good, she clearly didn't know, at that point anyway, enough about caring for a dog with any sort of unpredictable temperament.

NY a few days ago

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In December, Dunham either bought or adopted two poodle puppies, who she named Susan and Karen. She brought them onto The Tonight Show with her in February, dressed up in little outfits. They seem like sweet dogs who will probably work out fine (although, who knows), but it also seems likely that Lamby may have gotten aggressive with the new pups and that's when she made the "heartbreaking" decision to rehome him.


In any case, Vasquez pointed out that Dunham had signed a (fairly standard) contract saying that if, at any time ever, things didn't work out with Lamby, she would return the dog to the no-kill shelter, where they'd be able to evaluate him and hopefully place him in a more suitable home.

Instead, Dunham sent Lamby to behavior rehab, at a place called Zen Dog in Los Angeles. After spending time there, Lamby was taken home by one of their former dog trainers, who claims he's doing quite well in his new environment. So that's good, at least, right?


Hi, @lenadunham. Lamby says "Hello!" and "Boww, bow!!" to you, @jackantonoff, and the entire @Matt_THEZENDOG Team. Thank you Lena, for rescuing Lamby and being a dedicated parent/angel to him. I'm sure you know how much he loves and appreciates you. And yes, it's true, he does still drink from "the golden tap" now and then, but that's our weird little boy! He's working on it. :) We practice everything he learned at #THEZENDOG, plus swimming and fetch, on a regular basis. Like you, I've hesitated to talk about my experiences with re-homing. I know firsthand how painful it is to let go of a pet, or to have to change course, especially after bonding and working so hard with them. When Ali and I decided to part ways, and she moved back to NY to be on Broadway, we had to consider what would be best for Honey, our sweet pit bull. We discussed options at great length. Even though it hurt to imagine someone else having Honey, we agreed that, for many reasons, she would be happiest and most supported if we found her a new home. We hoped it would be with someone we knew and trusted. Coincidentally and very luckily, my good friend @stefanie_paulette was looking to adopt a female pit (specifically!), around that time. Now Honey lives in Colorado, where she frequents grassy fields with other big playful dogs. We got to be with her when she was healing from surgery, and helped her into the next chapter of her life. I guess what I'm saying is, it's a gift to care for an animal, at any capacity. They feel our hearts' intention to love them, even when changes are needed, and they love us back. They can often thrive in new homes, if the transition is executed thoughtfully and responsibly by everyone involved. So thanks again for sharing Lamby with me, and being his first home out of the shelter. He is loved, learning new things, and cracking me and my friends up all the time. I adore him. Love, Lamby's Other Parent, Dani

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