We’re disappointed to see that reality star, Joey Essex, has potentially fallen victim to the normalisation of buying ear cropped dogs after recently sharing a picture of an ear cropped Doberman on his social media. The photo, by a pool with either a GPS tracker or shock collar entitled ‘Newest Member’ was posted with a devil and warning sign emoji, suggesting he is an imported protection dog.

Joey has previously been an ambassador for animal welfare, and with the backlash Love Island and fellow TOWIE star Jack Fincham felt last year after hitting headlines for sharing images of his own ear cropped dog, he is aware of the controversy. We appreciate he could be a rescue but cannot find anything to confirm this.

What we do know is that Joey Essex has a substantial social media following with over 3million followers on Twitter and 1. 8 million on Instagram; making him a macro-influencer. With an audience of this size, it’s of the utmost importance that every single post is thought out thoroughly before being shared.

Influencers have a responsibility to ensure the content they’re sharing doesn’t cause misinformation or harm, so in the case of this picture shared by Joey Essex we’d really want to be seeing more than just “Newest Member” alongside the image of an ear cropped dog and would not expect to see the emojis suggesting he is a devil dog with a warning sign. If he is a rescue dog, we would expect him to say so and explain how he does not support ear-cropping.

The simple fact is, Joey Essex has shown his followers a picture of a dog who has had its ears purposely mutilated for the sake of appearance and appearance only. There isn’t a single benefit to the dog when their ears are cropped. It’s cruel and causes unnecessary pain and discomfort. It’s also illegal in the U.K. so again what is this dog’s backstory? At this stage we really don’t know whether this dog is a rescue or not, but we’ll be reaching out to Joey’s team to ask for clarification and to share more information about why ear cropping needs to be stopped.

We'll be encouraging Joey to read about our work to support the #FlopNotCrop and #CutTheCrop campaigns https://www.hoperescue.org.uk/News/flopnotcrop-features-on-the-bbc 
...and asking him to sign the Kept Animals Bill petitions https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/619442