Update: Fans call on PavCo to drop contracts with catering CEO seen in alleged dog abuse video
Warning: disturbing content.
The man seen in an alleged dog abuse video has been identified in a search warrant obtained by Global News.
On Thursday, it was reported the BC SPCA was investigating after receiving a surveillance video shot in an elevator of the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver allegedly showing an unidentified man kicking a dog several times.
The man can then be seen hauling the dog by its leash as he exits from the elevator.
The search warrant issued as the result of the BC SPCA investigation and obtained by Global News on Friday identifies the man as Des Hague.
Desmond Hague is the chief executive officer of the American catering company Centerplate, Inc. which has contracts in British Columbia with BC Pavilion Corporation, the Crown Corporation responsible for operating BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. According to PavCo’s 2013 financial statements, they paid $20,583,729 out to the company in the last fiscal year and in 2013.
A spokesperson for PavCO emailed Global News the following statement:
“We are aware of reports regarding the BC SPCA’s investigation and are deeply concerned by what we have seen in the video.
Centerplate employs hundreds of people in BC and this incident is in no way a reflection of the high quality of service that Centerplate’s employees have delivered for many years.
We understand this matter is being reviewed by Crown Counsel, and respecting this process we will not be commenting further on these serious allegations.”
Protests over social media have already started, imploring the Provincial Crown Corporation to drop their contracts with Centerplate. A Twitter account belonging to its CEO, Des Hague and a company Facebook page were both taken down on August 23. Today, at the BC Lions’ game, many fans said they would boycotting the food at BC Place.
“To see that fellow pull that dog and do that to that animal was an absolute disgrace. And it goes further than that – the company that that gentleman worked for that’s a black eye to everybody. That’s a black eye to his friends and that’s a black eye to society. Cruelty to animals is absolutely unacceptable,” said Lions’ fan John Kinney, outside of the stadium. “I’m not buying anything that this guy sells here – it’s a disgrace,” he told Global News.
Centerplate says they’re looking into the matter, in this statement emailed to Global News:
“This is a personal matter involving Des Hague. 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. As this is an ongoing review, we cannot comment further at this time.”
Hague released the following statement to Global News, through his legal counsel:
“I take full responsibility for my actions, 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. I have reached out to the SPCA and have personally apologized to the dog’s owner. 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.”
The warrant says Sade, the Doberman Pincher seen in the video, is less than a year old and was removed after being found to be in distress. It states the animal exhibited behaviour of an abused dog during the search. Marcie Moriarty with BC SPCA says they are now in possession of the dog. She said the dog didn’t require immediate veterinary treatment and wouldn’t reveal where she’s being held.
Moriarty says they have referred the case to Crown.
BC SPCA receives about 8,000 animal abuse complaints every year and relies on the public to report any incidents.
WATCH:A man seen kicking a dog in surveillance video is identified in court documents. Jill Bennett has the details.
To report an animal in distress, call the Animal Cruelty Reporting Hotline at 1 (855) 6BC SPCA (1-855-622-7722).