The story of Lena Dunham’s former rescue pet, Lamby, just took a puzzling turn when a Brooklyn shelter disputed the actress’ story about the dog’s past.
Dunham adopted the dog back in 2013 from the no-kill Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC), and Lamby quickly began living the life of celebrity.
Two months after the adoption, an essay by Dunham about her new shaggy, cream-colored mutt appeared in The New Yorker, recounting a lifelong ambition to own a dog (“Everyone tells me how lucky I am”). Lamby also appeared in a Vogue shoot, further cementing his place in her life as the “Girls” creator continued to pepper his image throughout her Instagram feed. Her boyfriend Jack Antonoff’s dog allergy even seemed to tolerate the rescue.
Then, earlier this year, those pictures of Lamby ceased.
The actress noted problems with him soon after the adoption, once posting on Instagram a photo of bloodied underwear after the dog bit her rear. She’d also revealed that Lamby had “three other homes, three other names, but now he’s mine mine mine” in The New Yorker essay that stated the dog had also bit Antonoff.
On June 21, Dunham explained over Instagram that she had checked the pup into doggy rehab at the Zen Dog in Los Angeles, where Lamby eventually found a new home, after trying to manage his “challenging behavior and aggression” through training and medication. Dunham noted that Lamby “suffered terrible abuse as a pup,” which made his transition into her home difficult.
But BARC, the shelter where Dunham found her former pet, disputes her story.
A representative for the shelter, Robert Vazquez, told Yahoo Celebrity that he checked Lamby’s records and found no previous abuse.
“He was ‘owner surrendered, not enough time,’ so we do not know where she got ‘multiple owners that abused the dog,’” Vazquez told Yahoo, noting that Dunham visited Lamby four times before adopting him.
The rep continued, “When she adopted the dog from us, it wasn’t crazy.”
If Lamby had been abused, he would not be making easy appearances in national magazines, according to Vazquez, who stressed how BARC “would have told her if the dog had issues.”
“We don’t lie about the dogs’ histories because that gets them returned — and mentally it’s not good for dogs,” he told Yahoo. Vazquez also noted that Dunham had violated a provision in BARC’s adoption contract stating that, should any problems arise, the animal be returned to the shelter for evaluation.
On Thursday, Dunham replied to the shelter’s accusations over Instagram.
“While I’m sorry to have disappointed them, I can’t apologize,” she said.
“I did what I thought the best mother would do, which was to give him a life that provided for his specific needs,” the actress continued, adding that she still provides financial support for the dog, and “he’s notably happier in his new surroundings.”
“We have different accounts of Lamby’s behavior,” Dunham said of the shelter, “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.”
Yahoo also reported that a representative for the Humane Society of the United States commended on the actress’ commitment to responsible dog ownership, saying ”[we] hope she will continue to use her platform to spotlight the homeless animal crisis and urge her legions of fans to consider rescuing.”
Even without Lamby, Dunham is still living her dream of becoming a dog mom.
Her two new adoptees, named Susan and Karen, appeared with Dunham on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in February, just before she relinquished Lamby. They occasionally make appearances on her ’gram feed, too.
In his new Los Angeles home, Lamby at least appears to be comfortable. The dog’s new owner, actor Dani Shay, posted a few photos the day after Dunham announced she had given him up.
“I’m sure you know how much he loves and appreciates you,” Shay wrote. “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.”