Emmerdale sparks hundreds of complaints with dog abuse scenes

Note: The following article discusses topics including domestic abuse, coercive control and animal cruelty.

Emmerdale spoilers also follow.

Emmerdale has received hundreds of Ofcom complaints following abuse scenes towards Piper the dog.

As Tom King's insidious abuse of his wife Belle Dingle continues, he cruelly plotted to poison Belle's beloved dog Piper in an attempt to try and get Belle released from a mental health crisis centre.

Emmerdale promptly reassured viewers about the welfare of Minnie, the dog actor who plays Piper, saying on social media: "These scenes can be distressing to watch, but we want to remind you that Minnie (AKA Piper) is a very good actor and is always living her best life on set!

"We can confirm that no harm has come to her whatsoever."

piper the dog, emmerdale

Related: Emmerdale airs another violent scene in Tom and Belle story

However, this did not stop Ofcom from receiving 313 complaints after the scenes aired on Monday (May 27).

The Ofcom website stresses "the number of complaints received is not an indication of how serious an issue is".

It also notes that every time a complaint is received, it's assessed under the organisation's Broadcasting Code, to establish if it meets the threshold for a full Ofcom investigation.

James Chase, who plays Tom, recently addressed the horrific scenes.

"I love playing villainous roles, and this one is definitely the most challenging I have ever played," he said.

"Certain scenes like syringing the dog was not... I really didn't like it, which is a good sign."

tom king, belle king, emmerdale

Related: Emmerdale's Tom King manipulates Belle's family after public showdown

Belle's ongoing abuse storyline has seen Tom alienating her family, as he tries to make it appear that she is being violent toward him.

Tom's coercive control, physical violence, emotional abuse and technology-facilitated abuse has escalated sharply since he married Belle earlier this year.

Recently, Tom tampered with Belle's medication to make her believe she was forgetting to take it and as a result of this, Belle made the decision to refer herself for urgent mental health care.

Eden Taylor-Draper, who plays Belle, has opened up about the "responsibility" of the storyline and how her relationship with Tom deteriorates.

tom king, belle king, emmerdale

Related: Emmerdale's Tom King left fearful after new Belle decision

"When we first heard from the producers the way the Tom and Belle relationship story was going to go, we were fully aware of the responsibility that would bring," she said.

"But it is an important story to tell. Soaps offer the viewer a glimpse of life behind closed doors and reveal what people present to the world isn't always a truth.

"The sad reality is that behaviour like this in a relationship is all too prevalent. I hope we do this story justice. And if people are in a situation like this they should definitely get help."

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.

Read more Emmerdale spoilers on our dedicated homepage

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, organisations including Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk), New Beginnings Peer Support (www.newbeginningspeersupport.com) and Women's Aid (www.womensaid.org.uk) can provide further support and information. The 24-hour, freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247. The US National Domestic Violence Hotlineis 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or text LOVEIS to 22522.

You Might Also Like