Chip Gaines’ Pic of Son Sitting on a Dog Sparks Debate about Animal Cruelty

A picture of Chip Gaines’ son sitting on a dog has somehow sparked a social media debate.

The Instagram photo, posted in recent weeks, shows Gaines’ young son casually sitting on a dog who is resting on a wooden front porch, presumably at the family’s home. Gaines — who is best known for his role in the series Fixer Upper — captioned the photo, “A boy and his pony… I mean dog. #farmlife.” The dog is a Great Pyrenees.

The photo gained 63,000 likes and more than 1,600 comments — the most interaction on his page for a post this year. It also launched an intense debate about animal care, with about half of the comments criticizing Gaines and the other half defending him.

“Get off the dog. And go ride an actual pony.. very disappointing to see something like this,” one person wrote.

“Never ok to sit on a pet. Dogs included,” another person wrote. 

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A post shared by Chip Gaines (@chipgaines)

“Please do not let kids sit on dogs,” still another person wrote. “Please respect the animal’s space. You think you know your dog and that it’s fine until it’s not.”

But Gaines had plenty of defenders.

“If the dog was bothered, the dog would move up and away. People need to chill,” someone wrote. 

“I’ve been owned by two great Pyrenees in the past. They love their humans especially the little humans. They are well able to handle a little boy sitting on them. Those of you criticizing need to just hush,” another person wrote. 

“[What is] wrong with all you people! Just go away! This man posts a sweet pic with his son and his dogs! Let him take his pics and save the memories. The dog is fine! Large dogs were meant to have a job and most are built to handle weight,” someone wrote. 

“Social media makes people think they can say anything they want because it is not face to face,” still another person wrote. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything. And no one needs your expertise on sitting on a dog. I’m exhausted from the cruelty people continue to show others on social media.”

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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