Culture

This YouTube Couple Had A Photoshoot To Announce They Put Down Their Perfectly Healthy Dog

Nikki and Dan Phillippi are also under fire for their decision to cancel an adoption after they were told the child couldn't appear on social media for a year.

nikki phillippi dog adoption

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You might have seen the names of YouTubers Nikki and Dan Phillippi in the news lately for some pretty concerning reasons.

The controversial YouTube couple, who have recently revealed themselves to be anti-vaxx and anti-mask, have been creating content on YouTube for a decade. But Nikki and Dan Phillippi have actually recently come under fire for a disturbing Instagram post about their decision to euthanise their dog, Bowser.

Since the Instagram post was shared, petitions calling for Nikki Phillippi to have her channel de-monetised have emerged as people shared their frustrations and disappointment in the couple’s actions. But if that wasn’t enough, now a resurfaced clip of Nikki and Dan talking about cancelling a planned adoption because they weren’t able to exploit the child on social media has added fuel to the fire.

So what exactly is going on with Nikki and Dan Phillippi, their dog and their cancelled adoption?

A Perfectly Healthy Dog Put Down

Earlier this month, Nikki Phillippi uploaded a gallery of images to Instagram from a photoshoot with her dog Bowser.

However, the bright and happy photos just didn’t quite match the message of the caption: The news that the couple decided to put their 9-year-old Bull Terrier down because he, in a “defensive” move, bit their one-year-old when the child tried to steal his food.

“We have some really sad news. 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,” the long caption full of positive moments started before turning sour.

“Bowser had an aggressive side that reared its ugly head a few times over the years… and recently he bit Logan,” the message quickly switched. “After a lot of counsel, we decided it was time for Bowser to pass peacefully on. I know a lot of you will be shocked to hear this… my brain is still shocked.”

“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,” the post concluded. “That being said, I’m so grateful we got to hold him and kiss him in our home while he passed. We will miss you forever Bowser”.

In a 24-minute follow-up YouTube video, the couple elaborated that while the “little mark” Bowser left on their son “wasn’t that bad”, it was enough to leave the family anxious about when the Bull Terrier would “cross that line” in the future.

“In the moment I’m thinking, you know, I grew up with the movie Old Yeller, and I wanted to pick Bowser up by the back of the neck and take him into the backyard and put him down right there,” Dan insensitively said.

Nikki and Dan added that Bowser was attacked as a puppy, which contributed to the Bull Terrier’s aggressiveness including instances where Bowser had “seriously injured a couple different dogs” over the years. The couple also noted that they used an at-home euthanasia service after the Humane Society told them it would be impossible to re-home Bowser.

“We contacted the Humane Society, and we had a long discussion with someone over there, and basically, she made it clear to us that rehoming Bowser was not an option as he had been with us from birth,” the couple shared. “Even if you rehome a dog, it is still your liability if the dog were to attack someone.”

But the Nashville couple were ultimately slammed for their decision to put down their perfectly healthy dog instead of rehoming or training him. And this criticism got worse when TODAY uncovered that both the Humane Society of the United States and the Nashville Humane Association said they had no record of conversations with the Phillippis regarding Bowser.

Underneath the Instagram post, a number of concerned fans shared that they would have willing taken Bowser in had Nikki made a similar post about the dog needing to be re-homed, while others noted how insensitive it was to have a photoshoot to commemorate the murder of perfectly health dog.

A Cancelled Adoption

But if that wasn’t enough, this week the Phillippis made headlines again for a resurfaced clip that shows Nikki and Dan explaining why they cancelled their plans to adopt a baby from Thailand.

Cropping up on Reddit after news about their dog went viral, the video from 2018 shows the couple sharing that they pulled out of the adoption due to the “social media policy” that Thailand has.

Nikki explained that the “unique laws” of the country stipulate that an adopted child isn’t “allowed to appear online for a year”, which was apparently a dealbreaker for Nikki and Dan Phillippi.

“After you pick up your child, they are your child but you are not allowed to talk about them or share any images, photos, videos, anything about them online for a year,” Nikki said.

“I mean Nikki’s got a YouTube channel and we share a whole lot,” added Dan.

“So we were like going round the house like trying to figure out how this could work like ‘Hashtag baby blur face’,” Nikki continued, proving that the couple had plans to use the child for content. “What are we gonna do? Dan’s like, ‘Maybe we could deal with that for a year?’”

But after thinking about it, and speaking to family who told them “it should be [Nikki and Dan’s] decision about what you want to share and not want to share”, the couple decided against the Thailand adoption.

The Phillippis then tried to adopt from Korea, but after an agency told them that their social media following would make it difficult for the adoption to get approved, they decided against it.

To be fair, deciding to not go ahead with an adoption in the early stages is smart, especially considering the flack YouTubers who have “rehomed” their adopted children when things became too difficult years have faced.

However, to change your mind on adoption purely based on the fact that you can’t post your child on social media for more clicks is pretty disappointing — and is exactly why people are so upset with the Phillippis.

In response to the overwhelming amount of backlash, both Nikki and Dan set their profiles to private and disabled comments on their YouTube channel. There is also a change.org petition calling for Nikki’s YouTube channel to get de-monetised that currently has over 69,000 signatures, but the Phillippis have not commented on the current criticism or their past actions yet.


Junkee has reached out to Nikki Phillippi. She did not respond to our request for comment.