A lifestyle Instagram and YouTube influencer is facing backlash after announcing she put down her dog because it bit her son.
Nikki Phillippi, who has 440,000 followers on Instagram, made the announcement on the platform Monday.
She said that their dog, whom she referred to as both Bowser and McTrowsen, was the “ultimate cuddle bug.”
However, she said, he also had “aggressive side that reared it’s (sic) ugly head a few times over the years.” Bowser recently bit her son Logan, leading to her and her partner Dan’s decision to put down the dog.
“After a lot of counsel, we decided it was time for Bowser to pass peacefully on. I know a lot of you will be shocked to hear this… my brain is still shocked,” she wrote in the post.
In a video uploaded the same day, she and Dan shared the reasoning behind their decision and all the events that led up to it.
“This was not a decision we came to lightly,” she said, sitting next to Dan.
Dan said that they “could’ve put Bowser down,” owing to numerous similar incidents in the past, and that he also attacked other dogs.
In this particular instance, Bowser bit their son, Logan, in the face, right before they were supposed to catch a flight to visit Phillippi’s parents. “Logan … is still healing up from the little mark on his face,” Dan said.
Phillippi said the reason why Bowser attacked Logan was especially concerning to them: Bowser was responding to Logan taking his food, Phillippi said.
“We actually attempted to rehome Bowser,” she said. “We contacted the Humane Society, and we had a long discussion with someone over there. … Basically, she made it very clear to us that rehoming Bowser was not an option because he had been with us from birth.”
They said both the lady at the society and the man who eventually came to put the dog down were alarmed by the dog’s nature.
The man who put Bowser down reportedly told the couple that Bowser appeared to be the kind of dog who “used to hunt hogs.”
The woman at the society reportedly told them, “It sounds like you’re just waiting for Bowser’s worst attack to happen.”
The couple teared up when remembering the dog and sharing about his passing.
However, their fans weren’t as onboard with their decision.
The comments on the YouTube video were turned off on Wednesday, and there were numerous negative comments on her Instagram post, with one person even calling it “murder.”
“Some dogs can’t live with kids but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to live,” commented one user.
“He didn’t ‘pass’ he was murdered,” wrote another.
“I wish you would’ve posted about needing to rehome him,” commented a third. The Instagram post was made a few hours before the YouTube video, in which the couple explained why they didn’t rehome him.
“Wow. this is appalling,” remarked another. “So many other better options and you basically chose to kill him.”
Some accused Phillippi of using the incident to make money and of being irresponsible to have a child in a home with a dog who has a history of behavior issues.
“So you knew about the aggression issues before a child was brought into the home? What were you guys thinking . Clearly not about the dog or child just money, clicks and views,” said one. “So sick now the child is bit and the dog is dead. Way to go. Hope you make lots of money!!!! I pray you don’t get another animal.”
“Not sure what is more upsetting to me… the fact that you killed your dog instead of training him, re-homing him or creating boundaries with your small child likely being all over him…OR The fact that you are dangling a carrot like this to upset people and then using it to MONETIZE your YouTube video,” wrote another.
“Just a quick moody photo shoot of me and my dog before I euthanize him,” a third sarcastically wrote.
Phillippi has not posted on her Instagram account since; nor has she responded to any of the comments. The Daily Dot has reached out to Phillippi and will update this report if she responds.
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