CEO caught on elevator video abusing dog

The CEO of a Connecticut-based company that does business with several high-profile U.S. sports and convention venues is under fire for an elevator-security video that shows the man abusing a dog by kicking and jerking the leash of the animal.

Desmond Hague of Centerplate was captured on camera Private Residences at Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver allegedly abusing the Doberman Pinscher puppy (named Sade) in late July. Centerplate, a catering company, has concessions at 350 nationwide locales, including Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, and San Diego Convention Center, which hosts the immensely popular annual Comic-Con.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the video prompted a search warrant for the building in which the abuse allegedly took place. On the 39th floor of the luxury condo complex, they found the pooch in a crate, unable to reach her food and water.

The dog, who is owned by a friend, is now with the SPCA.

The board of Centerplate has donated $100,000 for the establishment of the Sade Foundation, to protect and support and support animal safety in Vancouver. As for Hague, he’s been placed on indefinite probation and must perform 1,000 hours of community service for an animal-welfare organization.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Hague said in a statement. “This incident is completely and utterly out of character and I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed.

“Under the circumstances of the evening in question, a minor frustration with a friend’s pet caused me to lose control of my emotional response. Unfortunately, I acted inappropriately, and I am deeply sorry for that and am very grateful that no harm was caused to the animal.”

No charges have been filed against Hague as of yet, but the dog’s owner will have to file an appeal to be returned.

So what do some of the major sports franchises that use Centerplate’s services think of Hague’s actions — and more important how do they impact their relationship with the company? Read some notable statements:

“We find the actions of Centerplate’s CEO to be deplorable and will closely monitor this matter as the company conducts its internal review.” — Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown (wndu.com)

“[The organization] condemns the abuse of animals and was disturbed to learn of the recent news regarding Des Hague. 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.” — San Francisco 49ers (Niners Nation)

“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, 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 Francisco Giants (official site)

“Although we are extremely disappointed in Mr. Hague’s actions, we do not believe that this incident represents the corporate philosophy of Centerplate and we do not believe this should affect our long and successful relationship with the corporation.” — Seattle Mariners (kirotv.com)

Sources: Fortune, UTSanDiego, Greenville Online, Vancouver Sun