Months after “Teen Mom” star Jenelle Evans suggested that her husband killed her dog, local authorities have claimed that the story was all a hoax in order for Evans to get free “publicity.”
Authorities launched an animal cruelty investigation against Evans’ husband, David Eason, in May, amid claims that Eason shot and killed Evans' French bulldog Nugget. In an Instagram post that has since been deleted, Eason suggested that the animal snapped at the 2-year-old daughter he shares with his wife. Around the same time, Evans posted a photo of herself and the dog on Instagram, apparently mourning its passing, and later telling Us Weekly that her husband killed the animal because he “doesn’t put up with that and those are his beliefs.”
However, the Columbus County Sheriff's Office released a statement on Thursday announcing it had ended the investigation, saying Evans admitted to them she made up the dog-killing story for “publicity,” E! News reports.
“Jenelle stated that the reason she filed the animal cruelty report was for the publicity and because she did not know where her dog was,” the statement reads, in part.
Authorities said that Evans first told them that, on April 29, her husband threw the dog outside because it bit their daughter on the face and he later went outside and shot it. She said that she did not witness the actual shooting but did hear a gunshot. However, officers searched the couple’s property on May 13, with Eason’s permission, but found no evidence that an animal had been shot and killed, prompting them to question Evans again the following day, the statement says, according to E! News.
They say Evans then changed her original story and said that she wanted the investigation dropped.
“Jenelle advised that she was inside with her children at the time of the alleged event,” the statement reads. “She advised that she never heard or saw anything to indicate that David shot her dog. Jenelle advised that she did not want the Columbus County Sheriff's Office or the District Attorney's Office to continue with the investigation. Jenelle advised that this was her decision that she made on her own free will. She advised that she was not coerced into making this decision.”
However, the dog does seem to still be missing.
“Jenelle advised that 'she don't know where the dog is. She also advised that ‘I don't know if she was shot or killed or not,’” the statement reads. Evans then told them that she filed the report for publicity, the sheriff's office claimed.
Evans, however, has since alleged the sheriff’s office is lying, insisting she never said that what happened was a publicity stunt, according to an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Gossip. She claims that she told police that she never saw anything because she was inside the house with her kids at the time but did hear what could have been a gunshot.
In the wake of the controversy, the couple temporarily lost custody of their daughter, Ensley, while Evans lost custody of her two sons, Kaiser and Jace, from previous relationships. Evans regained custody of Ensley and Kaiser this week, but Jace is still under the guardianship of Evans' mother, E! News reports.
Eason previously defended his alleged decision to kill the dog in an Instagram post, writing, “I dont give a damn what animal bites my baby on the face … whether it be your dog or mine, a dog is a dog and I dont put up with that s–t at all.”
“I’m all about protecting my family, it is my lifes mission,” the post continued. “Some people are worth killing or dying for and my family means that much to me.”
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