Fans of actress and filmmaker Lena Dunham are likely familiar with her shaggy rescue dog, Lamby, whom she said she surrendered to a dog behaviorist in March due to years of aggressive incidents. But now, the shelter where she got the dog is disputing her story.
"We checked the records for Lamby," Robert Vazquez, a spokesman for New York's BARC Shelter, where Dunham originally got the dog, said in an email to Yahoo Celebrity, referencing a comment Dunham made in March 2013 about Lamby having three different owners. "He was 'owner surrendered, not enough time,' so we do not know where she got 'multiple owners that abused the dog.'"
Vasquez went on to say that Dunham visited the dog four times before completing the adoption, and he was present each time.
"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 added. "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."
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Dunham said in a lengthy Instagram post announcing the departure of her beloved pup that Lamby "suffered terrible abuse ... that made having him in a typical home environment dangerous to him and others."
"After countless hours of training, endless financial support and a lot of tears he was given access to a better life," Dunham wrote, adding that, despite doing everything she could for him, including medicating and loving him, his "challenging behavior and aggression" proved too much, so she now pays for him to live at a professional training facility in Los Angeles with a trainer who "loves him so hard."
One source close to Dunham told Yahoo Celebrity the "Tiny Furniture" filmmaker had "at least six different vets" examine Lamby, and they determined he had experienced "past abuse" and might even have brain damage.
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It can take six to eight weeks or even longer for a rescue dog to adjust to his or her new home, during which the dog will often show changes in behavior, notes Mutt About Town.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Dunham said she respects the folks at BARC, but they don't know what it was like living day-to-day with her aggressive best friend, who bit her and others on multiple occasions.
"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 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."