It’s been a roller-coaster year for Jenelle Evans and husband David Eason, but despite the hardships they’ve faced, the couple’s relationship has only been strengthened by the trials.
Speaking with PEOPLE Now on Monday, the Teen Mom 2 alum, 27, said that her marriage to Eason is “stronger than ever.”
“I mean, especially because of the [child protective services] thing that happened. We had to be so strong during that,” explained Evans. “It was so hard to just hear accusations as a parent that aren’t true.”
In May, Evans and Eason temporarily lost custody of their children after he shot and killed their family dog, Nugget, for biting 2-year-old daughter Ensley in the face. Two months later, she regained custody.
“I am ecstatic to regain custody of my kids back!” she said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE at the time. “Throughout this long process and final decision, I am excited to be moving forward and continuing to show America I’m a good parent.”
On July 3, a judge in Evans’ custody trial case ruled that her 5-year-old son Kaiser — whom she shares with ex Nathan Griffith — and Ensley — whom she shares with Eason — would be returned to her, TMZ reported.
Kaiser’s father, Griffith, was ordered to return his son to Evans, TMZ reported. According to the outlet, Evans’ mother, Barbara Evans, still maintained custody of Jace, 10. (Evans shares Jace with ex Andrew Lewis.) Eason’s other daughter, Maryssa, was, at the time, in the custody of her mother Whitney Johnson, according to E! News.
As Evans reflected on the difficult two months that her children were separated from her and Eason, the mother of three began to cry.
“Having to go through that as a couple, sorry,” Evans told PEOPLE Now, tearing up. “Not being around your kids for two months for no reason and there was no evidence or anything against us. And that’s why it was ultimately dismissed.”
While the MTV personality was apart from her kids, she said she was “at home every day, like, just crying.”
“My house is just so alive and my kids are there every day. And then to wake up and it’s so silent and it’s only me and him — and we usually cook breakfast every morning and they were gone,” she shared.
As Teen Mom audiences recall, the child custody controversy surrounding Evans and Eason was sparked this past spring.
On April 30, Eason, posted a video of Nugget becoming aggressive toward Ensley as she tried to hug him. He also shared a photo showing a scratch mark on the toddler’s face. Come May 1, Evans mourned Nugget’s death.
Speaking with PEOPLE Now on Monday, Eason confirmed for the first time that he killed Nugget and explained his reasoning for doing so.
“It was a situation where my daughter, her health, her safety was in danger,” Eason explained, referencing Ensley.
“This was something that nobody wants to ever have to do. The dog was aggressive. Yes, she might not be huge or whatever, but you know when a dog bites a child on the face more than one time, then it should never be around the child again,” said Eason. “If you give the dog up for adoption, one day it’s going to be around children again.”
He continued: “If you call the authorities at that point, the law says the dog has to be euthanized. I’m not going to pay anyone to euthanize my dog when I could do it myself.”
“I mean, I loved that dog,” Eason said, fighting back tears. “I still think about her every day. It’s really hard for me. A lot of people put me down for it, they hate me for it, but like I said, it was not something I wanted to do.”
Evans shared she had hoped the incident wouldn’t have gotten out to the public as it was a “private family issue that happened within our household.”
“We didn’t want it getting out in the news at all,” Evans said.
The reality star shared that on the day it happened, she told a friend of hers, who then told Kaiser’s father, Griffith.
“[He] called the cops and said, ‘Check on my son.’ TMZ got a hold of that 911 call, and that’s how it got brought up in the news,” Evans said.
Evans went on to defend Eason, crediting his decision to kill Nugget to his “country lifestyle.”
“David has grown up in the country lifestyle — he hunts, he fishes. The way he was raised is really different than a lot of other places. We understand that people ares scared of the whole gun thing, [but] they just don’t understand it from David’s perspective,” Evans said.
“His father taught him, ‘Don’t let any animal hurt you’ … and he just thought what he was doing was best,” said Evans.