The actor left a heated voicemail for a PETA worker, defending his choice to purchase a Cavapoo puppy after his family's dog died
Pete Davidson is expressing frustration with PETA for criticizing his choice of buying a hypoallergenic dog from a pet store rather than adopting a new pooch after losing his beloved family pup.
On Monday, the actor and comedian, 29, left a heated voicemail — later obtained by TMZ— for PETA's Senior VP of Investigations, Daphna Nachminovitch. Nachminovitch had given the outlet a statement criticizing Davidson's choice of purchasing the puppy after seeing a leaked video of the Bupkis actor buying the pet at an N.Y.C. store.
"Thank you so much for making comments publicly that I didn't adopt a dog," Davidson began the voicemail to the PETA employee before going on to add that he is "severely allergic to dogs" and that Cavapoo dogs, the breed he purchased, are nearly hypoallergenic.
Further defending his decision, Davidson expressed that the puppy was for his mother, whose dog Henry had recently died. Davidson then expressed some vulgarities in the voicemail.
PEOPLE reached out to Pete Davidson's rep for comment on the matter but did not receive an immediate response.
In a statement to TMZ, the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts star further detailed what moved him to call PETA. "I haven't seen my mom and sister cry like that in over 20 years," he said of his family's reaction to Henry's death. "I was trying to cheer up my family. I was already upset that the store had filmed me without my permission or acknowledgment. Then this organization (PETA) made a public example of us, making our grieving situation worse. I am upset. It was a poor choice of words. I shouldn't have said what I said, but I am not sorry for standing up for myself and my family."
Davidson admitted he was unaware he could "adopt a specific hypoallergenic dog, and said he was told, "It wasn't an option, and if it was, it was rare."
In a statement to PEOPLE, PETA responded to Davidson's reaction to Nachminovitch's comments.
"Our hearts go out to Pete and the rest of the Davidson family for the loss of their beloved dog, but there's no excuse for promoting the puppy mill industry by buying a dog from a pet store when millions of wonderful dogs await loving homes in animal shelters. Anyone set on finding a dog of a specific breed can go to shelters, where an estimated 25% of dogs are 'purebreds,' check with adoption groups, or search Petfinder online," the statement reads.
"Many pet shops pacify concerned people with empty claims of working with 'reputable breeders,' but there's no such thing — puppies in pet stores, almost without exception, are obtained from puppy mills, deplorable massive dog prisons where hundreds of breeding dogs, and their puppies are intensively confined and denied everything that's natural and important to them, including basic socialization, exercise, grooming, and veterinary care. That's part of the reason why New York state banned the sale of puppies in pet shops (effective in 2024)," PETA adds.
The organization ended its statement by acknowledging that it doesn't believe that Davidson purchased the puppy with ill intent.
"We know Pete cares about animals and was trying to do a nice thing for his family, but he has millions of impressionable fans, and his choices matter—so the next time he's ready to welcome an animal into the family, we hope he makes the compassionate choice to adopt, not buy."
"Hey guys. I know today is the Bupkis premiere day but I wanna use today to remember my dog Henry," the post began, accompanied by a slideshow of photos of the fluffy pup. "Yesterday we lost a key member of the Davidson family. Henry was only 2 years old but unfortunately got very sick very fast."
"My mom, sister, and I got Henry at the beginning of the pandemic, and he saved our lives," Davidson continued. "Not sure I'd even be around without him. He was the happiest and sweetest dog ever."
Davidson, who has been open about his mental health struggles, famously lived in his mom Amy Davidson's basement until he moved out in 2021.
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The Saturday Night Live alum's post went on to detail his special bond with Henry: "He used to get excited when he saw me and would pee everywhere. When I was working at SNL my mom would send me videos of him watching, smiling and making noise when I came on screen."
"I don't ever really watch any of my stuff with anyone as I'm far too scared but I didn't mind watching with Henry. He was truly the best," the post's caption read.
"My mom, sister, and I are broken and will miss him forever," Davidson concluded his message. "We love you Henry. Thank you for making our lives fuller and reminding me what actually matters."
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