Many of the people who have been attacking the shelter that insisted on taking Ellen's dog back have said that such shelters are run by persons who "love dogs more than humans".
First of all, I hasten to point out, this is a false choice, not to mention probably inaccurate. When a person wants to protect an animal that does not mean that the same person would not go to the same lengths to protect a human in a similar situation. For all my love of animals, I know that if I saw a toddler run out in the street and a dog run out in the street and I could save only one I would go for the toddler. Not because I love dogs less but simply because I am human and tend to relate to humans and instinctively will protect them first. I cannot answer, though, what I would do if I saw an older child, perhaps a teen, run into the street and my own dog run into the street...I think I know what I would do. Frankly, I look to help those who are less able to help themselves.
Second, though: what if it is true? I suspect that for some people it actually is true that they love animals more than people. Particularly dogs. What's wrong with that? Apart from it being a bit of an aberration, a person who prefers a species outside its own, why is this abhorent? Who gets hurt? Does it mean that these folks go around hurting people? No. Does this spell doom for civilization? No. Actually, it could be a boon.
In other words, is there something inherent about humans that makes them automatically deserving of greater care than other animals? Especially other sentient animals? I am not talking about offering to animals aspects of care that they have no use for. I'm not sending my cats to college. I'm talking about care that is related to basic needs. Care that helps assure their survival, basic loving care. Do humans deserve this more than dogs do?