On Tuesday, Sept. 2, ESPN reported that the CEO of Centerplate catering has resigned after surveillance of him kicking and yanking a puppy surfaced in late August. Desmond "Des" Hague was seen on the footage kicking and yanking a one-year-old Doberman puppy who allegedly belongs to a friend.
The footage of Hague and the puppy, named "Sade," incensed animal lovers worldwide - and they demanded that Hague be fired, fined, and/or jailed. Hague's resignation is one step toward justice. The company's board of directors appointed Chris Verros as their new CEO.
"We want to reiterate that we do not condone nor would we ever overlook the abuse of animals," stated Joe O'Donnell, the chairman of the board of directors for Centerplate. "Following an extended review of the incident involving Mr. Hague, I'd like to apologize for the distress that this situation has caused to so many; but also thank our employees, clients and guests who expressed their feelings about this incident. Their voices helped us to frame our deliberations during this very unusual and unfortunate set of circumstances."
Initially, the company stated that the incident, which occurred in an elevator in a Vancouver, BC apartment, was "personal." After public outcry, Hague agreed to donate $100,000 to the Sade Foundation "in honor of the dog he mistreated." He also stated that he would attend counseling to address his anger management issues. In addition, he said he would serve 1,000 hours of community service to an undetermined animal protection agency.
According to the Vancouver Sun, two BC SPCA officers entered the downtown Vancouver, BC. condo last week and found a Doberman puppy in his crate, "surrounded by the stench of its own urine with its food and water bowls of out reach." The BC SPCA recommended that Hague be charged with animal cruelty - and Centerplate stated that Hague does still face potential criminal charges for animal cruelty. A petition on change.org that encouraged Centerplate to fire Hague reached 150,000 signatures as of this writing.
Last week, Centerplate, Inc. stated that president and CEO Desmond Hague was put on "indefinite probation" for abusing the puppy. Centerplate, which has more than 30,000 employees, reportedly serves more than 115 million people a year at the 300-plus venues where it caters, including venues in Washington State. Centerplate's contract includes Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash.; Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash.; and the Yakima Convention Center in Yakima, Wash.
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