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Featured Image Credit: Youtube/ Instagram
YouTuber Nikki Phillippi has divided opinion by announcing she had euthanised her dog Bowser because he was "aggressive".
The 33-year-old took to the video sharing site and Instagram to confirm that she and her husband Dan had decided to put their bull terrier down, after he bit their son.
Bowser had been in the Phillippi family for ten years, but Nikki said the act of violence was the final straw.
Dan told followers that the incident "wasn't that bad", adding that their one-year-old son Logan was only left with a "little mark", after Bowser bit him when he tried to steal his food.
However, despite this, the couple claimed that they were left anxiously "waiting" for Bowser to "cross that line" in the wake of the incident, and so decided to act.
On Instagram, she explained her decision in a caption which read: "We have some really sad news. McTrowsen, I'm so grateful for our time with you. You were a mini horse, a shark, a bear, a mouse, a dinosaur and Dans best friend all in one.
"You made me laugh... you made me cry... you destroyed our property... and you also kept it safe. lol You kept ME feeling safe...
"Bowser was the ultimate cuddle bug, but you wouldn't necessarily know that if you just dropped by our house...he just acted crazy. Well.
"Bowser had an aggressive side that reared it's ugly head a few times over the years... and recently he bit Logan....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.
"McTrowsen has been part of our life and content HIS entire life...and for the last 9 years of our marriage...
"We didn't want to make this decision...as I'm sure you can imagine. 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 YouTube vid entitled 'We have some really sad news', the couple elaborated on their decision.
Nikki explained that Bowser was attacked as a puppy, explaining that his personality "changed" as a result, and he eventually "seriously injured a couple different dogs".
Discussing the incident with her son, Nikki added that Logan had grabbed the dog's ear and given him "cauliflower ear" ahead of the moment he bit him.
The couple explained that they didn't consider rehoming Bowser an option, given the fact he had lived with them so long, and they felt bad giving someone else a "liability" to handle.
On the moment their dog was euthanised, Nikki said: "It was amazing, because everything comes to an end, and if you have to have an end, which everything does, it was a beautiful perfect ending, in our living room, in our arms."
She then started crying as she read out a list of her favourite things about the deceased pooch.
While comments were turned off on the YouTube video, followers had a lot to say about their choice to put Bowser down, over on Instagram.
"This is so sad," one disapproving follower penned. "It's so sad that dogs often pay the consequences for us humans not being responsible enough to create boundaries for them and teach them how to behave around humans as well as teach our humans especially children how to behave around dogs.
"I know this wasn't an easy decision for you to make as a family but if Bowser already had an aggressive side, why didn't you advocate for him and protect him so that he wouldn't make a mistake like this eventually and have to pay the consequences?"
Another wrote: "Woah... what about adoption? At the LEAST. Not a judgmental person here but wow, this saddens my heart and truly rubs me the wrong way".
As someone else chimed in: "Your dog didn't fail you, you failed your dog. To end a dog's life in this manner is deeply disturbing".
"The whole Nikki Philippi thing makes me sick to my stomach. how do you have a dog for 9 years, claim it's aggressive, and take a photo shoot with it before putting it down?," a fellow commenter fumed.
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Manzo even sternly had her say on the debacle.
"You guys better NEVER get another animal ever ever again. So sad you couldn't use your following to rehome this beautiful dog," she wrote.
Meanwhile, Jeffree Starr was similarly outraged.
It's hard to fathom how someone could kill their own family dog and make content out of it," the celebrity makeup artist wrote. "They need to be investigated. As a dog owner whose animals are my LIFE, this is hard to wrap my head around."
While there was a lot of backlash to the decision, some took the couple's side.
"Why attack someone whos grieving over the death of a beloved pet?," one wrote. "It's ridiculous. They weighed all their options and came to the conclusion that what was best was euthanasia. Just like I did. And if that makes me a "murderer" of my cat then Idk what's wrong with society."
"Nope, my children come first. My dog bit my son's ear as a pup while playing and I legit said, she nips again, she's gone. I'm not risking my children. And guess what, my beagle is still here because she knows not to mess with my kids," another wrote.
Following the divisive response, Dan changed his Instagram bio to "Dog murderer (allegedly)," before swiftly deleting it, and Nikki made her profile private to block out the hate.
The RSPCA states that aggression in dogs can be treated and managed, and is usually caused by "underlying fear and anxiety".
"Treatment for aggression often involves behavioural modification techniques. These techniques use positive reinforcement as the basis - reward 'good' behaviour and avoid reinforcing 'unwanted' behaviour," the charity said.
"Treatment for aggression generally does not involve the owner 'punishing', using aversion therapy or being aggressive towards the dog as this is likely to make the dog's aggressive behaviour worse."
Tyla has contacted representatives for Nikki.