"It was a situation where my daughter, her health, her safety was in danger," David Eason exclusively told PEOPLE

By Robyn Merrett
September 09, 2019 09:33 PM

Jenelle Evans‘ husband David Eason has confirmed that he killed her dog, Nugget.

Eason, who received significant backlash and criticism for his decision to shoot and kill the animal this past spring, opened up to PeopleTV’s People Now about what led to the fatal incident.

“It was a situation where my daughter, her health, her safety was in danger,” Eason explained, referencing 2-year-old daughter Ensley Jolie.

“This was something that nobody wants to ever have to do. The dog was aggressive. Yes, she might not be huge or whatever, but you know when a dog bites a child on the face more than one time, then it should never be around the child again,” said Eason, 31. “If you give the dog up for adoption, one day it’s going to be around children again.”

He continued: “If you call the authorities at that point, the law says the dog has to be euthanized. I’m not going to pay anyone to euthanize my dog when I could do it myself.”

“I mean, I loved that dog,” Eason said, fighting back tears. “I still think about her every day. It’s really hard for me. A lot of people put me down for it, they hate me for it, but like I said it was not something I wanted to do.”

Teen Mom 2 alum Evans, 27, shared she had hoped the incident wouldn’t have gotten out to the public as it was a “private family issue that happened within our household.”

David Eason and Jenelle Evans
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

“We didn’t want it getting out in the news at all,” Evans said.

The reality star shared that on the day it happened, she told a friend of hers, who then told her 5-year-old son Kaiser’s father, Nathan Griffith.

“[He] called the cops and said, ‘Check on my son.’ TMZ got a hold of that 911 call and that’s how it got brought up in the news,” Evans said.

Evans went on to defend Eason, crediting his decision to kill Nugget to his “country lifestyle.”

“David has grown up in the country lifestyle — he hunts, he fishes. The way he was raised is really different than a lot of other places. We understand that people ares scared of the whole gun thing, [but] they just don’t understand it from David’s perspective,” Evans said.

“His father taught him, ‘Don’t let any animal hurt you’ … and he just thought what he was doing was best,” said Evans.

Jenelle Evans, David Eason and their daughter Ensley
David Eason/Instagram

RELATED: Jenelle Evans Slams Cops for Claiming She Fabricated Dead Dog Story as PR Stunt: ‘I Feel Attacked’

Evans shared that Eason is now extremely remorseful, explaining, “He does realize that what he did was wrong. And he does realize that he shouldn’t have done it. And he said, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realize how bad it was going to hurt everyone.’ “

When asked if he thinks it would have been better to place Nugget into a new home, Eason said, “no.”

“I don’t think the dog should have been re-homed, no. Regardless of what I did, the dog would have been euthanized. … The law says if you don’t euthanize a dog that bites somebody, within a reasonable amount of time, you are held liable for neglect,” he said.

While Evans is standing by her husband, she said that “instead of conversating [sic] with me before it happened, he just did it.”

“He didn’t realize how big that was going to be if it did get out. He also isn’t used to social media or being on TV or anything like that. I’ve been around it since 2009. I know my actions from the past have made me learn not to do those mistakes again. David is learning from everything that is happening.”

Since Nugget’s death, Eason and Evans have taken steps to heal as a family.

“I have [forgiven him], and we went to co-parenting counseling sessions — it’s kind of like a marriage session in one. And he’s also taken anger management classes; he took six classes, completed the whole course. So I mean, he did do things to try to better himself. We’ve been working out really well ever since. We got over it,” Evans said.

“Actually, my pitbull Jax, he actually killed one of our pigs recently. So instead of David saying, ‘Well let me euthanize the dog, let’s just give the dog away.’ So we gave the dog away instead … So he’s even taken the initiative to correct his actions and not repeat the same mistakes he’s made before,” she explained.

On April 30, Eason, posted a video of the dog becoming aggressive toward Ensley as she tried to hug him. He also shared a photo showing a scratch mark on the toddler’s face.

“I don’t give a damn what animal bites my baby on the face… whether it be your dog or mine, a dog is a dog and I don’t put up with that s— at all,” he wrote. “I’m all about protecting my family, it is my life’s mission. Some people are worth killing or dying for and my family means that much to me. You can hate me all you want but this isn’t the first time the dog bit Ensley aggressively. The only person that can judge whether or not a animal is a danger to MY CHILD is ME.”

RELATED: Jenelle Evans and Husband David Eason Get Two New Dogs After Controversy Over Other Pet’s Death

On May 1, Evans mourned Nugget’s death.

“Nugget… I’m crying everyday. I love you so much and I’m so sorry. I’m speechless,” she wrote alongside a selfie of herself and the dog. “You were my sidekick and knew the moment I felt bad and would cuddle with me. You still had a lot to learn and a lot to grow from your lessons. Everyday I wake up you’re not here, when I come home you’re not here, when I go to bed… you’re not here. You’re gone forever and there’s no coming back.”

It was revealed in July that Eason would not be facing animal cruelty charges for shooting and killing Nugget.

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