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Kate Gosselin Wants Dogs Back
But not until the weather warms up
New Orleans German Shepherd Rescue rehomed these two German shepherds when their family asked for help.

If you apply to adopt a dog from a shelter or breed rescue, there's one surefire way to ensure your paperwork is tossed in the trash: you gave up a previous dog because he proved "inconvenient." In the case of reality TV star Kate Gosselin, she has decided she wants her dogs back. Her ex-husband, Jon, gave away German shepherds Shoka and Nala to their trainer during the celebrity couple’s messy divorce proceedings late last year.

Kate now claims she wouldn’t give up on two difficult kids, so she’s giving the dogs another chance. But she didn’t want them in the first place. What changed her mind? I’d like to believe that she is trying to teach her kids that dogs are a lifetime commitment, but the cynic in me thinks she’s looking for some feel-good publicity.

I’m angry that the dogs’ breeder sold them to the Gosselins in the first place. No responsible breeder would allow two littermates to go to the same home because the pups are more likely to bond to each other than to their humans. Second, with eight kids ranging in age from 5 to 9 years, how could the Gosselins possibly give the two puppies the attention, training and structure they needed? Jon Gosselin himself told People magazine that their eight kids would "climb on them, pull their tails, bite at them [and] drag them."

Do you think Shoka and Nala should return to the Gosselin family?


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.


Julia Kamysz Lane

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by K9 Coach | March 21 2010 |

Usually I am all for showing children that the dog(s) are not disposable items. Even when dealing with a more difficult situation with dog behavior, the first choice I believe is working through it.

In this case however, I have to say I do not think this is the best home for these dogs. From the dogs being siblings to eight children, to Kate and her Dancing with the Stars commitment, there simply is no possible way these dogs are going to get the proper training, appropriate exercise for their breed or enough time left in a schedule that is already pushed to the limits.

I'm afraid I have to agree, smells of some feel-good publicity. Sad.

Submitted by Anonymous | June 27 2011 |

Since the show has evolved Kate has regressed. She cares about Kate only and tries anything to repair her image. I have a Bulldog which is a tough breed but would do anything to ensure a lifelong relationship with my dog. She does have "naughty" episodes that last a few weeks when we leave her while we go on vaation or dont take he in the car for a ride (aka princess syndrome) but we work through it and dont get rid of her. Kate is so trying to improve her image but hopefully everyone sees through her and STOPS watching her show and drawing attention to her which is what she CRAVES! Stop watching her show.

Submitted by Cheryl | March 23 2010 |

Getting a dog is a whole family commitment. They clearly did not have one when they got the dogs. There's no way I'd get a pet that my husband did not want and vice versa.

If she gets the dogs back, I hope that she's committed to providing these dogs with a healthy, safe, and enriched home. I'm a little concerned about how difficult it will be to monitor all the children and their friends around the dogs. With the right owner, any dog can make a wonderful family companion, but I'm not sure GSD's are the perfect match for an inexperienced, reluctant dog owner with eight children. Large and intelligent may not be the way to go. There are pets that would be better suited to her family situation, like a couple of goldfish. (Of course, they won't scare away the paparazzi.)

I'll reserve my cynicism for now though regarding her reasons for wanting them back.

Submitted by SaraG | March 23 2010 |

No. Count me in with the cynics. She had her chance. These dogs deserve--and need--better.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 23 2010 |

Let the kids discover not just the lesson of commitment but that dogs deserve care and that there are consequences for not providing that care.

Submitted by Coleen | March 24 2010 |

No, no, no, no, NO. I agree that pets are not disposable and this is an important lesson for her eight children to learn. Another lesson for them to learn is that families should not adopt or purchase a pet if the family does not have the time, patience, and means to give those pets the life they deserve. Instead of placing these dogs back in the home where they will likely be ignored or worse, teach these children both lessons by taking them to a Humane Education class provided by one of the shelters in their area. Better yet, bring the Humane Education into the neighborhood or school were these children live and invite other classmates or friends to have an interactive group session.

Submitted by Suzanne | March 24 2010 |


What is criminal is that the breeders ever considered them.

More criminal...the trainer would give any thought to returning them.

Criminally insane...people who treat dogs as disposable.

Again...no, no, no!

Submitted by Dee | March 24 2010 |

Absolutely not. The dogs were openly mistreated. From the little I have seen of that show (I don't have cable and don't watch much TV), I wonder what kind of breeder would have sold these puppies to that family? The parents had a very difficult time caring for the children. Adding puppies to the mix was a grave mistake. Hopefully, the dogs were not permanently scarred from such rough treatment. Giving up the dogs was the best thing for all of them!

Submitted by Martha Chacon | March 24 2010 |

NO. I was disgusted when I heard that they had giving them away and saw the pictures of the kids waving goodbye to the dogs...I wanted to cry. So unfair...no loyalty for those who are nothing but loyal to us. Shame on those two.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 24 2010 |

Absolutely not.

Submitted by Wendy | March 24 2010 |

I don't watch their show and never have and I'm sick of hearing about them and all their kids over the past year. I was sad when I learned they even got the dogs because I beleived with 8 children and tv crews in and out of their home there was too much going on in the first place to bring puppies into. I hope the trainer who has them has the sense to keep them and provide them with a good home. If the Gosselins would like to teach their children to care for pets then take them to a pet shelter a couple of times a month and let them help clean and take care of homeless animals and spend time caring and walking a homeless pet who needs to know they are loved.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 25 2010 |

While I agree that the dogs should not have gone to that home in the first place since the parents were not stable in their relationship and could not offer any stability to their children, I also saw that the children loved the dogs, and were never taught properly how to care for or even treat a dog. I have 2 Yorkies and if we get company with small childredn, the first thing we do is explain to the child our rules with the dogs. I do not feel that the children should be punished for what the parents did or did not do or teach them regarding the dogs. But I also feel that one dog right now would be an idea, so that the children could focus on that dog. I do have a problem with dogs, (any pets), that are outside dogs. I get very upset especially in the very hot or very cold weather when I hear a dog barking or crying even during the night. To us a pet becomes part of your family, not comething you can just tie outside. So, my vote is to have Kate get one new dog for her and the children, let the dog become a pet so it is alloed to be inside and become a pet and part of the family. Then if and when the first dog has become part of the family, they can look into possibly a second dog. She also might want to look into a different breed. Thanks for listening.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 25 2010 |

Absolutely not! "Kate now claims she wouldn’t give up on two difficult kids, " She already did! I have a very low tolerance for people who give away their pets just because. The dogs will be so much better off with someone who has the time and space for them! Shoka & Nala should be allowed the happy life all dogs deserve!

Submitted by Angela Limburg | March 26 2010 |

No way should those dogs go back to them!! They need a good home where they can get the attention that they need, not compete with 8 kids and their crazy parents.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 27 2010 |

No. She wants the dogs back to generate sympathy and feel-good PR for herself, not because of any empathy towards the dogs. If she wanted the best thing for those dogs, she'd leave them where they are.
This mom needs to learn that she doesn't get a second chance with something as precious as a dog.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 28 2010 |

no !! she has enough with all of those kids to take care of and if she did not want them in the first place, she only wants them now for the publicity, not for the best interests of the dogs.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 31 2010 |

No. Owning a dog is a life-long committment. I would give my left arm to keep and care for my pet. I love her. She is family (more enjoyable to be with than most of my human family!!). If one cannot commit to this sort of relationship with a dog, an emotional, loving creature who's more human than animal, one SHOULD NOT get a second chance with the two sweetie pies who have already been let down. It was a poor choice to get to puppies when she had 8 children. What makes this time in her life better suited for adult dogs who still need constant love, affection, attention and training!??! She still has her 8 children, right?!? So, no. She should let those dogs be where they are given ALL that they deserve and are not treated like an after thought.

Submitted by Jan | March 31 2010 |

No especially as they have been rehomed. It would just be another upheaval and who knows if she will change her mind again. The dogs are most likely very happy and content in their new home. Just wish people would research the breed characteristics, temperments, care, energy levels AND size of a dog they are contemplating so they will have a better life long match.

Submitted by stef | June 9 2010 |

Did anyone notice the timing of her announcement about allowing the dogs to return home? Right after it was announced she would be on 'DWTS'. She makes this nice speech about not returning 2 bad kids, so she shouldn't have returned 2 bad dogs. That was so people would see the nicer, softer side of Kate. As for waiting for the weather to warm up...I'm in Reading, PA , unfortunately 10 miles from her. It's been nice and warm here since April. We truly had an early spring. And the dogs are nowhere to be found. Yet another lie from Kate.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 28 2010 |

Shame that the dog that has returned is left to live outside rather than to be actually part of the family inside the family home. They better realize this is a lifetime commitment this time.

Submitted by kmm | November 30 2010 |

This is plain and simple - animal abuse. It's hard enough for dogs to be around one child that could possible pull its tail, hit it with toys, bite it, chase it, etc. - I can't even imagine the terror for the animal to be subject to eight children - all at the same stage of development!!!

And that's probably eight unsupervised children. Where is Kate most of the time? It doesn't seem like she's ever home.

And Pennsylvania is cold, cold, cold in the winter. Everyone who cares about animals knows that if the dog lives outside it's vulnerable to anything. This is also just cruel. Why bother to get a dog if you're not going to let it inside the house to be with its 'family'???

Who's the idiot who agreed to give the poor dog back to her???

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