Pauley Perrette Is Reportedly Leaving ‘NCIS’ Over Mark Harmon’s On-Set Companion

Mark DavisGetty Images

Pauley Perrette shocked NCIS fans when she announced her departure from the hit crime show after 16 seasons. Although Perrette did not say why she decided to leave the series, an inside source claims that the NCIS star left because she felt threatened by Mark Harmon’s savage pit bull.

Perrette Felt Threatened On The Set Of NCIS

A source told Radar Online that Perrette did not feel safe whenever Harmon’s dog was on set. The actor rescued the pit bull, named Dave, a few years ago and frequently brought him on the set of NCIS. In the fall of 2016, the dog sent a crew member to the hospital after a vicious attack. The bite was so bad that doctors gave the crew member 16 stitches to close the wound. Shortly after the incident, inside sources claimed that the man was playing rough with the dog at the time of the attack. With the blame shifting to the crew member, Harmon continued to bring the pooch on set.

Harmon Refused To Listen To Perrette’s Complaints

The source explained that Perrette thought Harmon should keep the dog home after the attack. The actress felt like Harmon was taking a huge chance bring the pit bull on set and believed somebody else would get hurt.

The team races against the clock to solve a hit-and-run on tonight's new #NCIS

A post shared by NCIS ( on

When she voiced her opinion to management and Harmon, who is a producer on the show, they refused to listen. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Perrette did not mention any specifics in her goodbye statement, though she did reveal that her decision to leave was made in 2016, the same time as the attack.

“I hope everyone will love and enjoy EVERYTHING ABBY not only for the rest of this season but for everything she has given all of us for 16 years,” Perrette shared.

Inside Perrette’s Final Season

Perrette would have quit last season if producers hadn’t agreed to certain terms. The actress allegedly told her bosses that she wouldn’t film any scenes when the pit bull was on set. She apparently felt very anxious whenever Dave was around, so producers agreed to separate Perrette and Harmon.

In fact, Perrette did not have to film a single scene with Harmon this season, and the two were never on set at the same time. Instead, Perrette and Harmon were given separate filming schedules, which seemed to work for one season. At the end of the day, however, network execs sided with Harmon on the matter, and Perrette decided enough was enough.

CBS Issues Farewell

Perrette has portrayed forensic specialist Abby Sciuto since Season 1 of NCIS aired way back in 2003. The actress was one of the last remaining original members of the show. Harmon and David McCallum are the only other actors who have been with the series full-time since the beginning.

Shortly after Perrette confirmed her departure, CBS released a statement thanking her for being such a great part of the show and wishing her the best. The network has not commented on the pit bull rumors or why Pauley Perrette ultimately decided to part ways.