Ellen DeGeneres says she only had her dog's best interests in mind when she passed li'l Iggy off to a friend, incurring a backlash coming from the adoption agency Mutts & Moms which she deems "surreal." Speaking to E!'s Ryan Seacrest, Ellen says, "Iggy's health and safety has always been No. 1," then details how when M&M owner Marina Batkis ostensibly visited DeGeneres' friend to "evaluate" the home, Batkis picked up and did not release Iggy for three hours, before declaring she was removing him from the house. The fallout from the incident "[seems to be] about punishing me, and that's fine," says Ellen. "[But] seven million dogs are euthanized each year, and [the focus here] should be about rescuing dogs." Batkis has since placed Iggy with another family, and received death threats as a result. Says Ellen, "People are acting out, and this is not about getting back at Marina. I just want the dog to go back to [my friend's] family."

UPDATE: DeGeneres is giving herself a breather after all the hullabaloo. According to a statement on her talker's website, "Ellen is taking a long weekend and will be back with a new show on Tuesday." POLL: Whose side are you on in this squabble? Vote here.