Miley Cyrus Gives Away New Puppy Moonie: Pet Pro Weighs In

Celebrity News Apr. 15, 2014 AT 1:15PM
Miley Cyrus A pet expert weighs in on Miley Cyrus' decision to give away her new puppy, Moonie, after the death of her dog Floyd Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Miley Cyrus is a true dog lover, but she's not ready to open her heart to a new pet after losing her beloved pooch Floyd.

The "Wrecking Ball" singer has been heartbroken since her Alaskan Klee Kai's sudden death, reportedly after a coyote attack, on April 1 and her mom, Tish, tried to fill the void by getting her a new furry friend, Moonie, just days later. And while the dog brought a smile to the 21-year-old's face, she's decided to give him away — a decision that, while debated, gets a thumbs up from a pet expert.

Cyrus, who's on the road for her Bangerz Tour, posted this message on Sunday, publicly saying goodbye to Moonie: 

And she explained the reasoning behind it — as well as where Moonie was headed:

While her Twitter followers debate her decision to give away the dog, William Berloni, who's a theatrical animal trainer as well as director of animal behavior for the Humane Society of New York, tells Yahoo that it seems like the best decision in this scenario. In fact, if he had been advising her, he would have suggested she wait at least 30 days before considering getting a new pet at all.

"I can understand the feeling of losing a pet, but we usually recommend that people wait about a month because no decision should be made as a reaction to a bad event," he explains. "We want you to think with your head and your heart, not just your heart. And when you make a snap decision and get a new animal immediately, it may not be the right animal for the situation. Maybe your lifestyle has changed. Maybe there's a different type of dog that would better fit your lifestyle right now. I usually say wait about 30 days."

Further, Berloni says that while Tish's decision to get Miley a dog to cheer her up sounds like a thoughtful one, he never recommends getting someone else a pet.

"When people come into the Humane Society of New York and say, 'I want to get a dog for a family member,' we don't adopt to them. It's like making an arranged marriage. We want to talk to the person who will actually be taking care of the dog," Berloni says. "As much as her mom wanted to heal that wound, like most moms do, buying dogs for people is never ever, ever a good idea. You can help facilitate them getting one, but let them be part of that decision. So I think it was a wise decision on Miley's part to be true to herself.”

However, Berloni is concerned about the puppy. While it is likely going to a loving home — complete with a playmate — it could set little Moonie back developmentally.

"Depending on the situation, animals have an adaptive quality. They will adapt to their environment to survive," he says. "Generally, adult dogs deal with change of ownership better than puppies. Puppies are in their formative years. You really want to set them on a path of consistency and training. Passing them around is probably not the best situation for a puppy. It sets them back in housetraining, in trust, and forming bonds. But in Miley's defense, I would say that probably was a good decision for her. She recognized that having a puppy now is probably not the right thing."

Cyrus has several other dogs at home — Mary Jane, a rescue dog; Happy, a Rottweiler-beagle mix; Bean, a Chihuahua mix, and Mate, a German Shepherd — but the search for a new playmate, if and when she decides to get one, should be a thorough and thoughtful one.

"I help a lot of celebrities get dogs. I understand their lifestyles," Berloni says. "I just helped [Broadway star] Sutton Foster get a new puppy. She lost her dog about six months ago and called me said, 'Look, I'm going to be in New York. I'm starting a new play on Broadway. I have the time.' So we got her a dog right before she started rehearsal because she knew she'd be in one place for a few months. We found her a little rescue dog from a shelter, but we saw probably six different dogs before she found the calm personality that she likes."

He adds, "It all goes back to my statement that you have to do it with your head and your heart. If we did it with our heart, we'd all have 20 dogs."

So now she's back down to four — and, for now, that seems like the right number.

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