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Guilty plea in dog kicking

The former CEO of a company that provides catering services to sports venues across North America has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after he was videotaped in a Vancouver elevator kicking a puppy.

Desmond Hague, who resigned from Centerplate Inc. last year, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of causing an animal to be in distress.

He was initially charged with two counts.

A surveillance video from a downtown Vancouver hotel in late July showed him in an elevator with a young Doberman pinscher, kicking it and yanking its collar.

Hague admitted it was him in the video.

Hague apologized to the dog's owners and issued a public statement saying he was deeply embarrassed by his actions.

Centerplate initially said Hague would donate $10,000 to establish a foundation in the dog's name and volunteer 1,000 hours of his time. The company announced Hague's resignation a week later.

The B.C. SPCA, which investigates cases of animal cruelty, announced charges last month.

The agency said the puppy belonged to Hague's friend.

The animal was returned to its owner on the condition it have no contact with Hague, the SPCA said.

A sentencing hearing is set for April 15.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of a $75,000 fine, up to two years in jail or a lifetime ban on owning animals.

Centerplate provides catering services to venues across North America, including BC Place, the home of the CFL's BC Lions.

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