LOVE Island star Scott Thomas has apologised after coming under fire for getting a £15,000 attack with cropped ears.
Angry followers slammed him for buying the Doberman Pinscher pup that had its ears and tail cropped by a breeder abroad.
Scott – who runs his own PR agency in Manchester – explained he had his sights set on getting a Doberman but admitted he hadn’t done his research and was unaware of the harm caused by the procedure, which is illegal in the UK.
He said in a statement to fans today: “Firstly I would like to apologise for any upset or offence caused. Secondly I would like to say I have been a huge lover of animals all my life and would never intentionally mean harm to any living creature …
“The puppy I decided on was already in the country and had previously been cropped and docked. Being very naive I didn’t look into the procedure or look into the full extent of the process. In hindsight I should have done more research into the procedure and don’t want to condone or glamorise this.”
The star concluded: “This is a lesson I have most definitely learnt from and I hope other people will take time to educate themselves on the subject too.”
Scott was bombarded with messages after he introduced Juno to fans on Thursday and they noticed the dog’s cropped ears.
One begged on Instagram: “Please STOP sourcing dogs for people who have no idea of the pain and suffering caused to animals with cropped ears. This is not fashion it is mutilation ”
Another fumed: “If you truly claim to be a dog person, please consider the cruel and unnecessary cosmetic cropping of dog ears ”
One more asked: “WHY would you crop the ears of a dog?!!”
As another angry fan explained: “Did you get her imported? Ear cropping and tail docking is illegal in the UK. It’s cruel and you should never support it. Please acknowledge that you have support animal abuse. I would even suggest donating to a credible, anti-animal abuse organization.”
Meanwhile his fellow Love Island star and RSPCA ambassador Eyal Booker apologised for initially commenting on Scott’s photo and writing “best picture”.
He said in a statement on Instagram: “I would love to publicly apologise on my Instagram, I commented on (a picture of) Scotty Thomas with his new dog and I commented on it saying ‘best picture’.
“I did not look into the picture I didn’t really look at the dog properly, and the dog has had its ears cropped which I do not condone. It is illegal in the UK and I fight against ear cropping.”
“I will continue to fight against ear cropping of dogs anywhere in the world and especially in the Uk. I am sorry to the RSPCA and anyone else out there who saw it and I offended”.
The practice of reshaping the ears of breeds like Doberman and Cane Corso is said to give the animals a more ferocious look and is illegal in the UK.
And it is an agonising ordeal for pups to endure.
The RSPCA has revealed there’s been a big jump in the cases of ear mutilation reported to their investigators.
The charity said images shared on social media – especially from the USA and in Europe where the practice is legal – by celebs and an increase in using so-called bull breeds in advertising is normalising the look and making it more popular.
Footballers James Maddison and Jesse Lingard both have dogs with re-shaped ears.
The animals are supplied from breeders abroad – including Russia – and then bought and trained by firms in his country.
Scott’s dog has been trained to ensure it is loving and docile mutt until a threat to its owner or property is detected.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “We believe ear cropping is being carried out illegally in this country. And we also believe that many breeders, sellers and buyers are sending dogs abroad to have their ears cropped before bringing them back home.
“Anyone who is concerned that someone might be cropping dogs’ ears themselves or sending their dogs abroad to have the procedure done should report it to us by calling our 24-hour emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.”
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Ear cropping is a process where ears are removed or surgically altered, usually for the purposes of appearance.
“It’s a painful and wholly unnecessary process which does not benefit the dog in any way and can, in fact, be detrimental to their health, behaviour and welfare.
“We do not believe dogs should be mutilated for cosmetic purposes and we’d urge people not to buy a dog with cropped ears as – whether the process was carried out here or overseas – they still will have undergone this very painful process.”
In 2015, the RSPCA received 14 reports of ear cropping and cropped ears from across England and Wales.
But in 2019 that had risen 236% to 47 reports. In the past five years, the charity has had 178 reports of the practice.
HOAR has contacted Scott’s reps for comment.