When Lucky Dog premiered in 2013, viewers quickly fell in love with host Brandon McMillan, who rescued "unadoptable" dogs from animals shelters across the U.S. The dog trainer then took the canines to his training facility, the Lucky Dog Ranch, where he tackled the daunting task of transforming the scared, unloved animals into the perfect companions. It's basically every dog lover's dream.
By early 2021, however, fans of the show were wondering: What happened to Brandon on Lucky Dog?
Why did Brandon McMillan leave 'Lucky Dog'?
Loyal fans of Lucky Dog were in for surprise when Season 8 debuted on Jan. 2, 2021. That's because Brandon was nowhere to be found. Instead, two new hosts — a husband and wife team, Eric Wiese and Rashi Khanna Wiese — were featured on the Emmy-award-winning series.
For those who missed the big announcement, Brandon revealed in October 2020 that he had finished his 182nd episode of Lucky Dog — and that it would be his last.
"7 years ago I was approached by a production company that wanted to showcase my passion for saving dogs and training them for a purpose," he captioned an Instagram photo of himself and a dog named Apollo, who started it all. "At the time I happened to be training Apollo. They were instantly sold on what I did and we began filming a couple months later. We had the best times."
Brandon's departure from the Lucky Dog, it seems, has to do with clashes between himself and the network over the direction in which the show was heading — something he delicately explained via social media.
"As the years went on big money started pouring into the show which meant more cooks in the kitchen making decisions. This is where Hollywood can take a great idea and turn it into a money driven business," he explained. "When the fun gets taken out of a tv show then it's no longer fun to show up. Today will be my final episode of Lucky Dog."
Brandon continued, "I always made it a point to wear my heart on my sleeve and not hold back my emotions. Being as real as I possibly can was the most important thing for me because you the viewers know acting from reality. This was a serious show that saved the lives of hundreds of dogs. Mission accomplished. But this is not the end ... it's just the beginning."
Although Brandon hinted that his leaving Lucky Dog wouldn't mean the end of his efforts in helping unruly canines, it's unclear what the dog trainer's next move will be — and whether fans can hope to see him on their TV screens again in the near future.
"Where will my next adventure be? Who knows... but you'll be with me on that journey too," he teased. "And together we'll find another Sandy, or another Charlotte ... or another Olive .... One dog at a time."
Watch Lucky Dog weekends on CBS.