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While most of us don't claim the luxury of a hit talk show with which to air out our grievances, Ellen DeGeneres does, and yesterday she used the pulpit of her celebrity-safe funzone to turn America against Mutts & Moms, an organization that seeks to place found dogs in good homes. Her blubbery, beyond awkward appeal begging for the return of Iggy (taken back to the shelter after the comedian pawned the dog off on a friend) has overloaded their website and resulted in multiple phoned-in death threats. And all this comes after the shelter refused to back down after DeGeneres unleashed her Michael Vick Academy-trained flack on them. From Page Six:

Keith Fink, a lawyer for Mutts & Moms, tells Page Six's Marianne Garvey it's all an act. Behind the scenes, DeGeneres' publicist was calling the small agency and threatening it, says Fink, who played a vicious voice-mail message for us:

"This is Kelly Bush. We are filing a legal case against you. We are going to be contacting the media. This is not going to be good for your store or your organization. You did not do the right thing. You need to call back. There is no reason for you to take this dog. Please call back before this gets further out of hand." [...]

Bush denied making threats. "I have not left any threatening messages at all," she said. "The agency threatened to go to the media and I said that wouldn't be a good idea. I told them there's just no need to escalate this . . . They started this by wanting to take it public. I was the one who said, 'Let's talk about this.' "

We fear Ellen's hopes to refocus the dialogue of the IggyGate debate on the dog's welfare were forfeited the moment she decided to issue a fatwa against the Pasadena puppy-placers. Her best bet at this point is to call off her army of torch-and-pitchfork-wielding Ellenites before they burn the shelter to the ground, perhaps by rerouting them to a Burbank dry-cleaner that failed to completely remove a chocolate-sauce stain from one of her favorite velvet tuxedos.