A lifestyle Instagram and YouTube influencer has drawn criticism on social media after she announced that she put down her dog because it bit her son.
Nikki Phillippi, who has 440,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube, made the announcement in a post on Monday.
She said she and her husband, Dan, had to put down her dog, Bowser, after it started exhibiting aggressive behavior and recently bit their son, Logan.
'It was Time for Bowser to Pass Peacefully On'
"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.
"We didn't want to make this decision...as I'm sure you can imagine," she added. "I'm not kidding when I say this was one of the saddest days of my life. That being said, I'm so grateful we got to hold him and kiss him in our home while he passed...I will be uploading a video tonight with more of the story if you want to know....We will miss you forever Bowser."
In a video uploaded later that day, they shared the reasoning behind their decision and the events that led up to it.
"This was not a decision we came to lightly," she said, while sitting alongside Dan. Dan said Bowser displayed aggressive behavior on several occasions in the past and also attacked other dogs. However, the decision to put him down was taken after Bowser bit Logan on the face the night before they were supposed to catch a flight to visit Philippi's parents.
"Logan ... is still healing up from the little mark on his face," Dan said, before Philippi added that the reason why the canine attacking Logan was concerning because Bowser was responding to Logan taking his food.
'Rehoming Bowser was Not an Option'
"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 Bowser down were alarmed by the dog's nature and told the couple that Bowser appeared to be the kind of dog who "used to hunt dogs" and that it wouldn't be long before "Bowser's worst attack." The couple's eyes welled up with tears as they continued talking. Watch the full video below:
Social Media Backlash
However, the couple's decision did not seem to go down well with their fans. The comments on the YouTube video were turned off on Wednesday, but there were several negative remarks on her Instagram post, with one user even calling it "murder."
"Some dogs can't live with kids but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to live," wrote one user, while another commented, "He didn't "pass" he was murdered."
Some accused Philippi of using the incident for clout.
"So you knew about the aggression issues before a child was brought into the home? What were you guys thinking," commented one user. "Clearly not about the dog or child just money, clicks and views. 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."
"The grossest part to me is the photo shoot before having the dog put down. Glad you weren't too distraught to produce some content first!" another user wrote on the Instagram post.
"This is one of the most selfish irresponsible posts I've seen. Even if you made that horrific decision, please do not post about it to hundreds of thousands of followers because you are normalizing the idea that putting a dog down because of aggression issues that YOU did not address is a feasible option," yet another opined.