The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Desmond Hague, Chief Executive Officer of Centerplate Caught Repeatedly Kicking a Puppy on Surveillance Video

Friday, August 29, 2014

Desmond Hague, Chief Executive Officer of Centerplate Caught Repeatedly Kicking a Puppy on Surveillance Video

The surveillance video shows a man in an elevator repeatedly kicking a small dog and yanking his leash hard enough to lift the animal off the floor.

Investigators in Vancouver identified the suspect as Desmond Hague, chief executive officer of Centerplate, the Connecticut-based catering giant that operates concessions at Qualcomm Stadium and the San Diego Convention Center, among many other venues.

The incident, which occurred in July, has sparked outrage among animal-rights activists in British Columbia and the U.S., and prompted calls for boycotts at Centerplate operations across Canada.

Authorities only became aware of the alleged abuse last week, when an employee at the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver sent them a copy of the video.

Should San Diego venues continue to use Centerplate for concessions?

The case was sent to prosecutors Sunday or Monday with a recommendation for criminal charges, the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told U-T Watchdog.

“It’s an unprovoked attack on a dog,” spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk said in a telephone interview. “In our reading of the law, he has violated the law. It’s not up to us to make a moral judgment on it.”

The videotaped incident has been widely reported in Canada and picked up by several U.S. news organizations.

Football fans told Global News in Vancouver they would avoid purchasing food or concessions from Centerplate during the BC Lions’ game because of the incident.

“I’m not buying anything that this guy sells here,” ticket holder John Kinney told the Canadian news channel. “It’s a disgrace.”

Hague issued a statement saying his behavior was “completely and utterly out of character” and that he was “ashamed and deeply embarassed” by what he had done.

He said a minor frustration with a friend’s dog caused him to lose his composure.

“I have reached out to the SPCA and have personally apologized to the dog’s owner,” he wrote. “At this time, I would like to extend my apology to my family, company and clients, as I understand that this has also reflected negatively on them.”

Chortyk said the investigation found that Hague is the owner of the year-old Doberman Pinscher named “Sade” and that the July incident may not have been the first time the animal was mistreated.

“The way she behaves certainly gives the indication of fearfulness, and that indicates she has received this treatment before,” Chortyk said. “Our paperwork indicates that it was his dog.”

The catering conglomerate did not respond to questions from U-T Watchdog, but told Global News in a statement that the incident was a “personal matter” for the company executive.

“Centerplate in no way condones the mistreatment of animals, and since learning about the situation late Friday night, have reached out to local authorities to better understand the facts and circumstances related to the incident,” the company wrote.

Centerplate provides food and concessions at major sports and other venues across North America, including Qualcomm Stadium and the San Diego Convention Center.

The Mayor’s Office, which oversees the city-owned stadium, did not respond to a request for comment on the elevator incident.

The case was sent to prosecutors Sunday or Monday with a recommendation for criminal charges, the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told U-T Watchdog.





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