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'Jon & Kate Plus 8' star Jon Gosselin defends himself against animal cruelty allegations

June 9, 2009 |  1:30 pm

Jonkate Jon Gosselin, the embattled star of TLC's reality series "Jon & Kate Plus 8," has a new problem on his hands: defending himself against allegations that his two dogs are abused.

In a recent interview with People magazine, Gosselin apparently intended to sing the praises of the German shepherds, Shoka and Nala, by saying that they put up with a lot from the eight Gosselin children (8-year-old twins and 5-year-old sextuplets). "Those kids beat them up, climb on them, pull their tails, bite at them, drag them around and everything you can imagine not to do to an animal, they've done," Gosselin told the magazine.  PeoplePets explains what happened next:

It wasn't long before the Humane Society of Berks County, Pa., where the Gosselins live, received about a dozen complaints from animal activists around the country, prompting Gosselin to release a statement Friday to the organization about the care of his animals.

"I'd like to set the record straight," he said. "We understand the responsibilities of being good dog owners. Whenever my kids are with Shoka and Nala, everyone is carefully supervised to ensure that no one -- dog or child -- is injured. Shoka and Nala are loyal companions who we consider members of our family. We would never do anything to hurt them, and treat them with the respect and love that they deserve."

Karel I. Minor, executive director of the Humane Society of Berks County, told the Reading Eagle that his group had looked into the complaints, but found "no credible reason to believe in way that there is cruelty going on."  Shoka and Nala were both properly licensed, Minor said, and a Gosselin family representative had agreed to forward the dogs' vaccination records to the agency.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Jon and Kate Gosselin. Credit: Associated Press

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