The ASPCA is investigating the well-being of a costumed dog who sits outside New York City’s professional baseball stadiums for hours at a time, pipe in mouth, collecting money for her nearby owner.
Observers say she seems to be toothless, and wears a shock collar. Whenever she tries to lie down because of fatigue, she suddenly sits right back up – likely jolted into panhandling mode again by her owner.
“Coffee is FORCED to sit outside Citi Field with a pipe in her mouth every Mets home game for hours on end with a shock collar on & no food, water or rest. Something needs to be done about this,” one baseball fan wrote on the wall of the Facebook page Stop Abusing Coffee, which calls for investigation of her possible abuse.
Jason Long, a baseball fan who could no longer stand to see Coffee’s situation, started the Stop Abusing Coffee Facebook page earlier this month when he watched the tired dog try to lie down, only to see her immediately sit back up. It was clear to him that the shock collar was behind her decision not to lie down.
He decided to rally he public and animal welfare officials into action.
“Thousands and thousands of people go to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium unaware of Coffee’s suffering,” he told NBC New York. “The mission of the page is to bring animal cruelty awareness to the public and give Coffee a better forever home.”
Unfortunately, since receiving the allegations against Coffee’s owner, the ASPCA has not been able to locate Coffee. I hope the owner doesn’t go into hiding for too long, because if she’s not earning money for him, there may be more reasons to be concerned about her well-being.