Britain's Got More Talent came under fire for using "scared" puppies as prizes in a game on the ITV2 show.
Presenter Stephen Mulhern hosted a quiz for Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams where they won a dalmatian puppy for every question they got right.
Simon was quick to stop the quiz when he noticed his puppy was scared by the bright lights and loud noises in the studio.
"This one is frightened. I'm going to put this one down," Simon said before taking it off-stage to a quieter area.
Amanda also noted her puppy was "shaking".
Viewers branded the stunt "cruel", but praised Simon for removing the scared animals.
Bad form using real puppies in a live audience environment.. They were absolutely petrified with the noise #BGMT
-- Shane on Blast106 (@ShanePearce) May 24, 2016
#BGMT disgusted that you brought puppies into that environment. So cruel and unnecessary.
-- daveyjay1 (@DaveyJayPowell) May 24, 2016
-- Lisa Ware (@47journostudent) May 24, 2016
-- Jennifer King (@jennie3789) May 24, 2016
-- Gemma Gillingham (@GillinghamGemma) May 24, 2016
I love #bgmt but that was poor form using those puppies for 'entertainment' at least Simon cared to remove the scared pup from the situation
-- Sophie (@Sophie_Eillish) May 24, 2016
Stephen apologised at the end of the show, saying: "Very quickly, I'd like to apologise if we upset anybody with the puppies. Obviously that wasn't our intention in any way, shape or form."
Simon was obviously equally as appalled as he tweeted after the show that the stunt would "never happen again".
I wasn't aware puppies were going to be on BGMT tonight. Trust me, it won't happen again. They're on their way home now
-- Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) May 24, 2016
Ofcom said they had received no complaints about the incident.