What Is Going On With Lena Dunham, Her Dog Lamby and an Animal Abuse Controversy?

Lena Dunham controversy over dog Lamby
Lena Dunham attends 'My Art' premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in New York, April 22, 2017. The actor is at odds with an animal shelter of her dog's alleged disturbed behavior. Ben Gabbe/Getty

Girls creator Lena Dunham is in another scandal, this time over her pet dog of four years, Lamby.

The actor revealed she had given up Lamby in an emotional Instagram post in June, because she was struggling with his aggressive behavior, a result of what she claims is "terrible abuse as a pup" under past owners.

However, the Brooklyn-based BARC Shelter, a no-kill animal shelter, where Dunham adopted the dog, refuted her claims Thursday. "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,'" spokesperson Robert Vasquez told Yahoo Celebrity. Vasquez also said that "when she adopted the dog from us, it wasn't crazy."

Dunham, Thursday night, said the shelter was "wilfully misunderstanding the truth."

The Girls star adopted Lamby in January 2013 and posted an Instagram picture with her new dog. Lamby has been regularly featured on Dunham's Instagram page since then and also appeared with her and Girls co-star Adam Driver in a Vogue photoshoot in 2014.

On June 21, the 31-year-old announced that Lamby had been relocated to an "amazing professional facility in Los Angeles" after "four years of challenging behavior and aggression that could not be treated with training or medication or consistent loving dog ownership."

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A lot of you have been asking where Lamby is these days since he's always been the star of my gram and I've been posting pics of my poodle girls. Well, you know honesty is my jam but this one has been really heartbreaking to talk about. But I feel I have to share that last March, after four years of challenging behavior and aggression that could not be treated with training or medication or consistent loving dog ownership, Lamby went to live at an amazing professional facility in Los Angeles @matt_thezendog where an awesome person named @therealdanishay (who is educated in a rescue dog's specific trauma) loves him so hard. 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. Jack and I will miss him forever but sometimes when you love something you have to let it go (especially when it requires tetanus shots and stitches.) Someday I'll really write about the pain and relief of letting Lamby go off and really be Lamby, biting and peeing in his own mouth and all. There were so many lessons in it, about forgiving myself and loving with an open palm and giving in to a larger plan. Shout out to @jennikonner for listening to endless hours of Lamby pain, and especially my partner @jackantonoff for loving him even when he ruined floors and couches and our life. Jack knows what Lamby means to me and he let me come to the decision in my own time even when it made his days challenging. Susan & Karen will never be my first loves, but they are fuzzy and hilarious stuffing for the hole Lamby left and we cherish them deeply ❤️#lamby #thefirstcutisthedeepest #foreverlamb PS If you have a similar situation, please know its possible to responsibly re-home your rescue rather than sending them back into the shelter system. It can require patience, diligence and often a financial contribution but there are solutions that leave everyone happy and safe. You will always have been your dog's first stop outside shelter life and that's beautiful.

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Dunham said she and musician boyfriend Jack Antonoff, who releases music under the band name Bleachers, would miss Lamby terribly, but he "suffered terrible abuse as a pup that made having him in a typical home environment dangerous to him and others."

But in an email to Yahoo published Thursday, Vasquez of BARC disputed Dunham's version of events. "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?" he said. "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."

On Thursday, Dunham responded to the shelter's allegations on Instagram, saying she she was "sorry" to have disappointed the shelter with her account of Lamby's history, but said she would not apologize for her claims about the dog's abuse.

"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," Dunham wrote. "They did not witness the consistent and responsible care I provided."

"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," Dunham added.

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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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Dunham gave up Lamby to the L.A.-based animal rehabilitation center, Zen Dog, in March.

In June, Zen Dog's owner Matt Beisner told The Cut that Lamby was a "hot mess" when he arrived. The article further describes that Lamby was "heavily medicated, had a nasty temperament, and was drinking his own urine." The dog has since "stabilized and found a new home," the article says.

While Lamby has seemingly found a happy ending, Dunham feels she is being unfairly questioned and criticized about the episode. "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," she wrote on Instagram. "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."

Dunham's has come under scrutiny for previous accounts of the past, notably when she claimed basketball player Odell Beckham Jr. snubbed her at the 2016 Met Gala because he didn't find her attractive. She later apologized.

Her 2014 memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, also created an internet firestorm after Dunham was accused of molestation following a description of an incident with her one-year-old sister when she was seven.

What Is Going On With Lena Dunham, Her Dog Lamby and an Animal Abuse Controversy? | Culture