STAMFORD, Conn. -- The head of a Stamford-based international sports venue catering company has apologized after he was identified in court documents as a man who mistreated a 1-year-old Doberman Pinscher dog in a hotel elevator in Vancouver, B.C., earlier this summer.
According to a story in the Vancouver Sun, Desmond "Des" Hague issued a statement Saturday apologizing for his actions.
"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."
Centerplate, where Hague works as CEO, issued a statement Tuesday saying it was a personal matter for Hague. Its world headquarters is based at 2187 Atlantic St. in Stamford.
"We are aware of the incident involving Centerplate CEO Des Hague and the attention surrounding it. The company has now gathered all of the current facts from local authorities and is in the process of conducting an internal review. Centerplate does not condone the mistreatment of animals by any of its employees. Mr. Hague has agreed to attend counseling to address his anger management issues and has publicly expressed he is deeply ashamed and remorseful for his behavior. He has apologized to everyone directly involved as well as to the company's clients and employees, and has pledged a significant, personal, multi-year financial commitment to help support the protection and safety of animals. There will be a public statement as soon as Centerplate completes its review.
"This is a personal matter involving Des Hague," it said in a statement issued Monday to the Daily Voice. "Centerplate does not condone 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."
A concerned citizen called the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recently, saying that there was a video of man abusing a dog in a hotel elevator in July, said Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA's Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer.
The news exploded Thursday when the video was aired on Global News in Vancouver. Moriarty said the SPCA didn't give the video to the news outlet.
The dog, Sade, from the video is in the SPCA's custody and is doing well, Moriarty said. She said the dog's owner, who she didn't identify, can appeal to have the dog returned.
Hague has not been charged with any crime.
She told the Daily Voice that the BC SPCA received 7,839 calls in 2013 from throughout the province of abuse allegations. Of those cases, 1,300 animals were seized and the SPCA executed search warrants in 102 cases.
The SPCA recommended that charges be lodged in 23 of the 102 search warrant cases, she said. She didn't know how many of the 23 cases resulted in criminal charges or charges under the province's prevention of animal cruelty act.
According to his Kohlberg & Co. biography, Hague was named an operating partner with Centerplate in 2010 and had been affiliated with Kohlberg since 2002. He is the president and chief executive officer of Centerplate, a Kohlberg Fund VI portfolio company. He joined Centerplate in 2009.
Before joining Centerplate, he was president of the International House of Pancakes and president of Safeway's Foodservice Division.
He also previously worked for PepsiCo, Maytag and 7-Eleven in senior marketing and management positions. He received an MBA from American College in London.