PLUS VIDEO: A distressed little girl pleads for the dog to be returned to her

By Tim Nudd
Updated October 18, 2007 10:00 AM

(Video courtesy NBC)

Unnerved by reports that the rescue agency has been threatened with violence, Ellen DeGeneres says she will stop speaking publicly, for now, about her former adopted dog Iggy – but she hasn’t changed her stance on the matter.

“Let me just say this, it’s gotten out of hand,” DeGeneres, 49, says on her NBC talk show in a segment set to air Thursday, according to the Associated Press. “I want nothing, nothing more than that dog returned to that family. But you don’t resort to violence. So anybody out there, please stop that. Please don’t threaten or do whatever.”

When her bringing home the dog didn’t work out (because of Iggy’s issues with her cats), DeGeneres gave the animal to her hairdresser’s family without permission from the agency, Mutts & Moms, which quickly took the dog back – and has since reportedly placed it with a different family.

NBC’s Today show on Thursday aired a video showing one of the daughters of the hairdresser pleading to get the dog back.

“Ruby, the little girl, doesn’t want another dog, she wants Iggy,” DeGeneres says on her Thursday program. “It’s not a toy that’s broken that you can replace. It’s a dog.”

Dogfight to Continue

DeGeneres says she will talk about Iggy again – and perhaps even have him on her program – if and when he’s returned to the family.

After DeGeneres went public with the doggie saga on Tuesday’s show, Mutts & Moms reportedly received death threats – and one of the partners later filed a police report claiming harassment.

DeGeneres has admitted she made a mistake, but insists that the dog and the family shouldn’t be the ones to pay the price.