If you haven’t been following the controversy, the Girls star has been taking a lot of heat for giving her dog Lamby to a shelter following “four years of challenging behavior and aggression.” She adopted the pooch from Williamsburg’s own BARC shelter and claims the dog was abused as a pup and unmanageable:
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.
After the story went viral, BARC responded, claiming that Dunham stretched the truth about Lamby:
“We checked the records for Lamby,” Robert Vazquez told Yahoo Celebrity via email. “He was ‘owner surrendered, not enough time,’ so we do not know where she got ‘multiple owners that abused the dog.’” (In her New Yorker piece from March 2013, Dunham said the dog had “three other homes, three other names, but now he’s mine mine mine.”)
At the time of his adoption by the star, the dog was just 1 “nearing 2-years-old” — and he didn’t have a history of being aggressive.
“When she adopted the dog from us, it wasn’t crazy,” Vazquez continued. “I have pictures of the dog loving on Lena and her mom, which is weird if the dog was abused. It wouldn’t be cuddling with her or be in the bed with her ‘boyfriend’ in the pages of Vogue.” (Lamby appeared with Lena in a 2014 Vogue spread, which also featuring her co-star Adam Driver. The dog, which seemed like a trained pro, was with the pair on city streets, in bed, and chilling with the pair in the bathroom.)
Vazquez says he personally was there “the four times Lena visited Lamby” prior to the adoption “because I’ve been in-charge of the dogs for the last 14-15 years at BARC. 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 somewhat related news, BARC Shelter’s affiliated pet store, BQE Pet Supply, has closed. A BARC employee we spoke with said the owners were having a difficult time keeping up with all the competition in the area. When they first opened, he told us, they were the only pet store in the neighborhood, but have since felt a decline in business as competition has grown. They will be missed.