Animal lovers have criticised Strictly star Nicola Adams and her model girlfriend Ella Baig for owning an American bulldog with “mutilated” ears.
Olympic boxer Nicola got more than she bargained for after posting the image on her Facebook page – only to hit by claims that ear cropping is ‘barbaric’ and ‘disgusting’.
Photographs posted in January 2019 show Brooklyn as a 10-week-old puppy with floppy ears, The Mirror reports.
But Ms Baig’s Instagram account has a saved story that appears to show the couple welcoming a cropped-eared Brooklyn into their home, aged five months.
Fans of Adams have expressed outrage online and branded ear-cropping “barbaric” and “disgusting”.
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But a spokesman for the boxer said she bought the dog when she was living in the US and its ears had “already been cropped when it arrived from the breeder”.
He added: “Nicola would never have chosen to put her dog through any unnecessary procedure.”
Animal charities RSPCA and PETA are now calling on the Strictly star to take a stand against the cruel practice.
PETA’s director Elisa Allen said: “We urge Nicola to speak out on social media and let her fans know she doesn’t endorse ear cropping.
“Dogs ‘talk’ to their human companions and other dogs with their ears, so hacking them off not only is traumatic, but robs them of a vital means of expression and communication as well as a way of maintaining balance.”
Ms Allen said that although the practice is banned in the UK, mutilated dogs can still be imported here.
Both PETA and the RSPCA have called for the practice to be banned outright after reports of ear cropping surged by 600% in the last six years.
An RSPCA spokes-man said: “Celebrities have a responsibility to set a good example to their fans but we fear the cropped look is being normalised and even glamorised.”
Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Towie’s Billi Mucklow and Love Island star Jack Fincham have also been criticised for owning dogs who have had their ears cropped.