Behind closed doors in an elevator, CEO Des Hague kicked and choked puppy Sade, leaving her cowering in fear.
Now there’s major fallout from this abuse and it shows the power of social media and enraged dog lovers.
Hague, CEO of sports catering giant Centerplate, resigned after a huge public outcry. He was looking after Sade for a friend.
He initially agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to an animal protection society and undergo anger management treatment.
But that wasn’t enough for many. A Change.org petition was started with 180,000 signatures urging the company to fire Hague.
Angry dog lovers also took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the company, a $6-billion organization which provides snacks to sports stadiums, for allowing Hague to stay as CEO.
It became a huge business and sports story. Even the San Francisco 49ers came out against Hague.
ESPN reported on a statement it received from the team:
The San Francisco 49ers 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.”
Eventually Centerplate caved saying the company does not condone the abuse of animals nor overlook the situation, replacing Hague.
Company chairman Joe O’Donnell said in a statement:
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.”
Fortune magazine received an exclusive comment from Hague in which he said he was deeply ashamed and will atone for many years to come. The steps he has taken will actually see many more animals safe and better protected, Hague said.
I look forward to rehabilitating and moving forward.”
Video: Global TV News