230ncannon102810_06_X17.jpgIt started out as a joke, but now Nick Cannon is facing the wrath of PETA -- and puppy lovers everywhere -- for an "inhumane" prank he pulled on New York's 92.3 NOW radio station, on Thursday.

Pretending to dog-sit for the radio show co-host's Pomeranian puppy, Cannon called into the show to let staffers know he decided to tie at least 50 balloons to the animal -- just to see how high the pup could lift off the ground.

But in no time the station was receiving an overwhelming amount of angry calls, which prompted Cannon to returned to the airwaves to let listeners know the prank had "gone seriously wrong."

Nick Tweeted after the backlash:

    "I think I might be getting fired... They are saying the program director, my producer and I are getting arrested. This can't be serious! People are acting like I'm Mike Vick. I apologize. Now get over it."

The entire scheme was actually an attempt to give away free Katy Perry concert tickets by attaching them to a stuffed animal puppy and releasing it into the air, for one lucky fan to catch.

Unfortunately Cannon's little hoax did little to amuse fans, with PETA claiming the stunt went too far: "Joking about killing a dog, a kid, an old person - anyone - isn't cool when there's always the danger that some numbskull will do it for real."