YouTube personality Nikki Phillippi has come under fire after announcing her family dog was put down.
The social media star, whose YouTube channel has amassed more than 1 million subscribers, announced the news on Monday, May 4, revealing that they put down the animal named Bowser after it bit their young son, Logan. "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," she began her Instagram post, which featured photos of her, husband Dan and their son with the dog over the years. "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."
Reflecting on their experience, Nikki wrote, "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."
She acknowledged how the news would strike many of their followers. "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," she wrote. "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."
As Nikki concluded, "We will miss you forever Bowser."
Reaction to the couple's announcement, however, was far from entirely sympathetic. Instead, many questioned their decision and pointed to alternatives. "Woah... what about adoption? At the LEAST," one comment read. "Not a judgmental person here but wow, this saddens my heart and truly rubs me the wrong way."
Another fired back, "I'm sorry you thought killing your dog was the best and only option."
"Surely, With over 400 k followers could you not have shared the story prior to him being put down?" a follower asked. "And guaranteed a network of people would have rallied together to save him. So very TRAGIC."
"Your dog didn't fail you, you failed your dog," another person chastised. "To end a dog's life in this manner is deeply disturbing."
The situation spurred this fan to end her support of the pair. "I can not stand behind this. Explaining the situation or not. I'm just one person but this is where I draw the line. I will no longer be following you," they wrote, "and I'm sorry you thought this was your only opinion but it was not."
Dina Manzo, former Real Housewives of New Jersey star, also weighed in with a comment on Dan's Instagram tribute to the pet. "You guys better NEVER get another animal ever ever again," she wrote. "So sad you couldn't use your following to rehome this beautiful dog."
The pair also posted a YouTube video further explaining the situation while disabling the comment section. During their sit-down video, they noted that Bowser had been attacked as a puppy, which marked a turning point in his personality. Dan said the dog had gone on to seriously injure a couple of other dogs, including their dog Zoe. "For most of his life," Dan said, "he was an extremely dangerous animal outside the walls of my house."
Nonetheless, the couple is grappling with the loss of their beloved pet. "This was not a decision that we came to lightly," Nikki said. "I was like, 'People aren't going to get it. People are going to be upset,' and Dan's response was, 'Nobody's going to be as upset as I am.'"