Puppy-Kicking Centerplate CEO Resigns

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FEB. 23, 2015 UPDATE: Des Hague pleaded guilty today to one count of animal cruelty.

des hague abusing puppyDes Hague, the Centerplate CEO caught on camera kicking a Doberman puppy in an elevator, has resigned from his job.

Last week, Centerplate’s board of directors put Hague on probation, but didn’t fire him — despite growing outrage and boycotts of Centerplate food, which is sold in many major sports venues.

Today Joe O’Donnell, chairman of the board, released a statement saying Hague has quit as head of the multibillion-dollar company.

“We want to reiterate that we do not condone nor would we ever overlook the abuse of animals,” O’Donnell stated. “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.”

Last week, per the board of directors’ request, Hague agreed to donate $100,000 to establish a “Sade Foundation,” named after the puppy he kicked, to protect animals in Vancouver, where the kicking took place. Hague was also asked to complete 1,000 hours of community service for an animal-welfare organization and to attend anger-management sessions.

In the video, taken inside an elevator July 27 at the upscale Private Residences at Hotel Georgia, Hague can be seen repeatedly kicking the puppy’s stomach, and then choking her by yanking up her leash and suspending her in the air.

When BC SPCA investigators tracked down Hague in one of the condos, they found the puppy, named Sade, in a urine-soaked crate, with food and water bowls beyond her reach. When Sade was removed from the crate, she was skittish and appeared to have been physically abused.

Hague released a contrite statement Aug. 25 through his attorney, claiming the incident was “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.”

As news of the case spread, hundreds of people condemned the puppy-kicking CEO on social media using the hashtags #DesHague and #BoycottCenterplate.

Here’s the surveillance video showing Hague as he lost control of his emotional response. The case is still under investigation by the BC SPCA, and Hague may very likely face criminal animal-abuse charges.

  • Luci Balbo

    Whatever happened to the 10,000 (or was it 100,000) US donation that was supposed to be made by Mr. Hague, formerly of Centerplate, to an animal rescue/care foundation. I believe he was going to set up the Sade Foundation. Almost six months later I can find NO sign of any such foundation. Was the foundation ever set up? ANY donation ever made. Animal lovers would like to know!!Please don’t tell us that it’s only asset is a yacht/beach front luxury condo with a picture of a dog in front, and a 24/7 caretaker by the name of ‘Mr. Hague’

    • Laura Goldman

      Great question, Luci. I can’t find any mention of the Sade Foundation or Hague’s $100,000 donation since August 2014, either.