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Featured Image Credit: Jeffrey Mayer / Alamy / Joey Essex/ Facebook
In a now-deleted post, the former TOWIE star uploaded a pic of the Dobermann puppy to social media, accompanied by the caption: 'Newest member', and it wasn't long before the criticism piled on.
Although ear cropping is illegal in England and Wales under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it's still a relatively common practice among certain dog owners for cosmetic reasons.
The painful procedure removes part or all of the external flaps of an animal's ear, and often involves bracing or taping the remainder of the ear to make it point upright.
Joey was quick to delete the controversial post, but the internet is quicker, and screenshots of the reality TV star's dog quickly spread across Twitter.
Campaigners and dog lovers were furious over the post, and argued that Joey, who has previously worked as an advocate with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home should know better.
TV vet Dr Sean McCormack told his Instagram followers: "Another day, another quite frankly vacuous celebrity parading a mutilated dog they have bought at great expense from abroad because it has undergone cosmetic surgery to make it look tough."
Dr McCormack added that it was a real 'kick in the teeth' to see this behaviour from Joey, after he had previously spoken to the reality star 'when he was challenged on praising another celeb for buying a mutilated dog'.
"He reassured me and his following on social media that he was a massive dog lover and welfare advocate and would never condone such cruelty."
Meanwhile, over on Twitter, animal welfare campaigner Jordan Shelley wrote: "Shame @JoeyEssex_ got a mutilated dog further normalising ear cropping an illegal painful mutilation to his followers."
And plenty more users had a thing or two to say about it, too.
patiently waiting for @JoeyEssex_ to claim his new puppy is a “rescue” like ever other weirdo that bends the law to import puppies that have had their body parts hacked off for a fashion statement x— ellia 🌻 (@ell_davisX) August 30, 2022
Former Love Island star Olivia Attwood also appeared to address Joey's post. Taking to her Instagram Story, she took the opportunity to remind her followers that ear cropping was "illegal and painful."
"In most cases, it's done without pain relief," she wrote. "Can you actually imagine - all for a fashion statement."
Joey's post even prompted a statement from the British Veterinary Association, who wrote: "We're disappointed to see yet another celebrity, Joey Essex, buying a cropped-ear dog. Ear cropping is a painful and unnecessary mutilation done purely for fashion."
They went on to share a link to a petition to pass the Kept Animals Bill through Parliament.
Joey Essex has not yet acknowledged the backlash.
Tyla has approached Joey's representatives for a comment.