Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth is in hot water after she shared a photo of her 1-year-old son Gideon playing with a pug, which many fans claimed appeared to be in distress. The image, shared with the Counting On star's more than 895,000 Instagram followers on Sunday, Sept. 22, is now seeing Forsyth facing accusations of animal abuse and child endangerment.
“‘Hey there, Pudge... I love you, Pudge!” Forsyth captioned the gallery of images, which included one photo of Gideon sitting near Pudge, appearing to be in the process of reaching out towards the dog, and another image of the 1-year-old attempting to hug him, the blur of Pudge suggesting that he was attempting to move away.
“I guess Pudge isn’t a fan of hugs,” Forsyth added, including the hashtag “he loves animals.”
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Although a seemingly innocent post with no ill-intent, it almost immediately drew backlash, with fans unafraid of voicing their concerns in the comments section.
“It’s not funny to make your dog this uncomfortable,” one person commented. “This is how kids get bitten and then the dog gets blamed…The dog is uncomfortable.”
“Pudge doesn’t quite look convinced!” another added.
“The little boy is precious and no doubt loves his dog, but the little dog looks uncomfortable… if the dog were to bite, who would get the blame...of course the dog and it really is not the dog, when it is obvious the dog is showing he is uncomfortable,” a third expressed their worry. “I love dogs and little people but would hate to see this precious face scarred from a dog who has given fair warning...nobody can be 100% sure that a dog would not bite if they felt threatened.”
“Yeah, yeah....I know. He's a great dog. But no matter what, ye push ANY dog too far, things will happen very quickly and in general....the DOG is the one punished,” yet another wrote. “Allow the child a touch but then remove him from the face of the dog. Just sayin'....”
“Dogs don’t typically enjoy hugs, and this is how a lot of bites happen,” warned a fifth. “Be careful!”
At this time, Forsyth has not addressed the controversy, though she is far from the only member of the Duggar family to face such accusations.
Last month, Anna Duggar, who is married to Josh Duggar, faced accusations of animal abuse after she shared a photo of her son Marcus showing off his catch. After one fan accused the youngster of mistreating what appeared to be a newt he was holding, Duggar cleared the air, informing the concerned follower her son “couldn’t quite figure out how to hold his fish so he held the artificial lure instead” and that she “wouldn’t let my kids use a real salamander for fishing bait [catch and release].”