Video of Centerplate CEO Des Hague’s abuse of a dog in a Vancouver elevator has gone viral, and the leaked animal cruelty footage is now causing professional sports clubs, who have contracted with Centerplate for their in-house catering services, to speak out loudly against the multimillionaire CEO and his billion dollar company.
CEO Des Hague is paying a heavy price for his cowardly abuse of his friend’s Doberman pinscher puppy. Centerplate’s Board of Directors demanded that Hague donate $100,000 toward an animal foundation, perform 1,000 hours of community service with an animal rights organization, and an online petition has been started that calls for Hague to be sacked.
That's certainly just the beginning. Animal lovers have a long memory, and a short fuse when it comes to ever tolerating abuse of a helpless animal.
Hague was caught kicking the leashed puppy multiple times and violently yanking the dog around the elevator. At one point, he bends down and appears to yell at the dog, who cowers because of what some suggest is a routine of anticipated abuse. Full video of the incident can be seen here. (Graphic)
USA Today says Centerplate is a “Connecticut company that supplies concessions for sports and entertainment arenas around the country including Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., the Superdome in New Orleans, the new Levi's Stadium in San Francisco and Notre Dame.”
Busted, Hague released a statement, calling his deplorable actions “completely and utterly out of character.”
I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed a minor frustration with a friend's pet caused me to lose control of my emotional response. I would like to extend my apology to my family, company and clients, as I understand that this has also reflected negatively on them.
The San Francisco Giants, who have partnered with Centerplate for concessions at AT&T Park, issued the following statement:
The San Francisco Giants do not condone any abuse of animals and we were deeply disturbed by the recent news regarding Centerplate CEO Des Hague. Centerplate management continues to investigate the incident and has taken some immediate steps in response to his actions – including contributing a portion of its sales to a foundation dedicated to the protection and safety of animals in the city of Vancouver, where the incident occurred.
“While we deplore Mr. Hague’s personal actions,” the statement continued, “it should in no way reflect upon the hundreds of dedicated Centerplate employees who admirably serve our fans at AT&T Park each and every day. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and any further actions taken by Centerplate and the authorities in Vancouver. “
San Fran’s NFL team, the 49ers, also weighed in:
The organization condemns the abuse of animals and was disturbed to learn of the recent news regarding Des Hague," the team said in a statement. “We believe his actions are not reflective of the efforts and service provided by the hundreds of Centerplate employees working to present our fans with a tremendous experience at Levi’s Stadium.
Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego also uses Centerplate. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city would review the contract and decide how to proceed. The city's contract with Centerplate – worth $17 million – is set to expire come early 2015.
Officials with the Charger’s organization said:
“We were shocked to learn of the disturbing behavior of Des Hague and have voiced our displeasure and concern to Centerplate’s leadership,” stated the Chargers’ management team. “It’s unfortunate that his actions have tainted the local Centerplate employees who devotedly serve our fans.”
Similar-worded statements came from the Seattle Mariners, the Canadian Football League, and other sports venues. Concession boycotts are already planned. Animal cruelty charges are still pending in Vancouver.
Will Centerplate CEO Des Hague’s reputation ever be made unsullied? Just ask Mike Vick.
Sound off with your opinions below.
Update -- An alert reader advised me of this: According to the Vancouver Sun, SPCA officials who entered Hague's apartment found the crated one-year-old puppy lying in excrement and urine, and reported that there were previous signs of abuse. The dog's food and water plates were not within her reach. It was not made clear in the article if the dog belonged to Hague, or if he indeed was watching her for a friend, as he purported.