Jordan Banjo has admitted he feels "awful" after sharing a picture of his new dog on social media.
The 27-year-old Diversity dancer posted a snap on Instagram of the pooch, named Sergio Banjo, sat in a field wearing a red collar.
Britain's Got Talent star Jordan captioned the post: "Been a long time coming and it’s been a bit crazy having to wait for the right time and right things to fall into place but here we are!
"Still in the middle of training and got a while to go but can’t believe how beautiful he is and shout out to Garry and the whole @ambassadorprotectiondogs team, they are incredible, make sure you’re following them to see how Serge gets on."
However, some of Jordan's 496k followers were quick to point out that Sergio's ears had been cropped.
Sharing a statement on Instagram, Jordan said: "Hey guys… so I'm getting so many DM's about Sergio and his ears…
"I've tried to reply to a bunch of people understand my position, hopefully people in my DMs still see this even if you don't follow me.
"I can't pretend to have known all of the information on cropped ears, I don't even want to pretend to be misinformed, to be blunt I didn't even think about it in the first instance."
The dad-of-two continued: "I didn't get his ears cut, I didn't even import him, first time I saw Serg he was six months old. Genuinely I appreciate the messages and it upsets me to think that Sergio or any dog goes through this purely to look 'cooler'.
"I turned the comments off because I started off getting comments and it was a shock because it hadn't even come into my head, I saw Sergio, saw his temperament, how he is as a character and fell in love with him and wanted him as part of my family.
"Now I feel awful, really wish it wasn't the case but now what do I do? I'm very rarely in the business of explaining myself but when I feel somethings [sic.] wrong I'll hold my hands up!"
Jordan then added: "Definitely wish his ears and had been left but now he's my dog now, not really sure what else I can say apart [from] I appreciate the messages and advice, thank you all for caring enough to say something and a lot of you in a very polite and educational way, and I hope I make better choices in regards to Serg in the future."
Ear cropping is the process of chopping off part of a dog's ears to either make them look cuter or more fierce.
It is illegal in the UK under the Animal Welfare Act unless carried out for medical reasons.
Ambassador Protection Dogs, who Jordan got his dog from, also posted a statement on their Instagram page.
It read: "We’ve recently imported a litter of cropped and docked Cane Corso pups, to showcase our expertise in dealing with this beautiful but sometimes complex breed, and also to give them a wonderful life in a good home here in the UK.
"They’ve come from a world-renowned breeder where the standard is to crop and dock them.
"Our aim is always to provide the very best homes for our dogs regress of breed."
They continued: "It’s illegal to crop and dock in the UK but it is not illegal to import them, however it was never our intention to promote the practice but in hindsight it seems like that may be the case.
"We have therefore decided that this is the first and last litter of cropped puppies that will be imported by us."
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