BarkBox is apologizing to dog owners — sort of — for distributing a toy that might be a little too creepy or risqué for everyone.
BarkBox is a subscription service that delivers, as its name implies, a box of pooch-friendly goodness every month for a fee.
Only the October edition’s take on Halloween-themed doggo toys inadvertently became the talk of the dog park. Think Pulp Fiction gimp scene and you’ll get the gist.
As a result, the company posted a “We’re Sorry” note to Instagram from Melissa Smith, the head of its human resources department, for the leather head inspired creation.
“We apologize for any shock or inconvenience as, unfortunately, this toy has been released without even warning the social team. smh. When things take them by surprise, we know we have perhaps crossed a line.”
“The clown toy can be unmasked to reveal a skull zipper character that we acknowledge is too dark for our mission to ‘make dogs happy,'” she added.
The company invited dogs “to destroy it upon delivery,” which is kind of what the toy is meant to do.
Rip apart the clown and reveal the leather-headed zipper-mouth toy.
But then, of course, there was backlash to the backlash — even from within the company.
There seems to be some internal conflict happening around this toy over at bark box pic.twitter.com/y770yUnSqE— Erin (@Erinses6) October 22, 2021
“We the social team would like to counter that this is a leatherdaddy safe zone,” noted the Instagram post. “DONT KINKSHAME HIM, MELISSA. He was comfortable enough to share himself with you and this is how you repay him??”
And a further explanation from the company: “The toy is not a joke.”
“Toy Designer Derek hid this gift inside his clown toy,” it explained.
“This toy is real. He exists,” BarkBox posted on social media. “Toy Zaddy Derek would also like to make sure that the world knows that Toy Designer Jake had a heavy hand in this. Quote: ‘Yeah, let’s credit that little deviant.'”
This toy is real. He exists. If you want him in your family and you’re new you’ll get him free with a subscription (https://t.co/RDBUJ9rG2f), if you already get BarkBox or Super Chewer, DM us. Also it comes with a knife. pic.twitter.com/N8BwMVKTLr— BarkBox (@barkbox) October 18, 2021
New York-based BARK owns BarkBox. It is publicly traded.
Because dogs are really big business these days.
We the social team would like to counter that this is a leatherdaddy safe zone. DONT KINKSHAME HIM, MELISSA. He was comfy enough to share this with u and this is how u repay him? Pls send all complaints, comments, & cheap shots to HR.Melissa@barkbox.com. We’re sharing our faves pic.twitter.com/j2zT5w0uRu— BarkBox (@barkbox) October 14, 2021