NCIS has seen two main cast members leave in the past few years. At first, it was Michael Weatherly, who played Anthony DiNozzo, who departed in order to star in a new series, Bull.
"It came about at the right time. I was burnt out by NCIS and I was ready for a new challenge," Weatherly said. "Sometimes change is as good as a rest."
Weatherly's close friend, Pauley Perrette, expressed her sadness when the fan favorite left.
My brother. @M_Weatherly Today... just in rehearsal. Tears. This #NCIS episode is amazing. I LOVE YOU MAN! pic.twitter.com/JTp3utRqn4— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) April 16, 2016
Less than a season later, Perrette herself exited the long-running show, leaving fans in a frenzy.
So it is true that I am leaving NCIS...— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) October 4, 2017
There have been all kinds of false rumors as to why (NO I DON'T HAVE A SKIN CARE LINE... pic.twitter.com/gugM2a2ckT
While Perrette's message was heartfelt, some people noticed the star never mentioned a reason for leaving. She thanked the show and her fans, but never said what her future holds. With no credits to her name since leaving the show, a reason may have finally been uncovered as to why Perrette left the show.
According to multiple on-set sources, Perrette left NCIS after deciding it was unsafe to continue working due to Mark Harmon's pit bull being on set all the time.
"She doesn't feel safe on set and she doesn't want to be around his dog," the insider said.
Harmon, who plays Gibbs on NCIS, often brings his four-year-old rescue pit bull, Dave, to the set with him. In October 2016, a crew member was playing with Dave when the dog got scared and attacked the man. The crew member required 16 stitches, but did end up returning to set.
Production tried to downplay the incident, saying the crew member was roughhousing with Dave when he became "frightened and attacked." Despite the incident, it didn't prompt any changes.
"Mark still brings the dog to the set," an insider revealed. "Pauley doesn't agree with it. She doesn't think it's right for Mark to expose anyone else to a possible attack."
Perrette made several complaints to both Harmon and show executives, but it was to no avail.
"When she said something, Mark and the execs fired back and refused to bend," reveals the informant. "She felt Dave was putting people in danger and was very upset."
Pauley made the decision to leave after the attack, but agreed to finish out the upcoming season under one condition.
"She was anxious on set and basically said, "˜I am not filming if that dog is here,' so they agreed to film her and Mark separately," says the source. "They set her role up where she wouldn't have to film with Mark and they aren't even in the same room. So she only films when Mark isn't around."
"It's sad Mark sticks up for his dog and won't stick up for Pauley," said another source. "It's like you can't say anything or you'll be fired nowadays."