Panhandling Pooch Not Mistreated, Says ASPCA

 |  May 26th 2011  |   24 Contributions


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An image from the Stop Abusing Coffee Facebook page points out what witnesses say is a shock collar under the bandana Coffee always wears in public

As promised, an update on Coffee, the NYC dog who sits outside the city's major-league ballparks and panhandles in costume for hours at a time with a pipe in her mouth. Some baseball fans and dog lovers believe Coffee sits so long because when she would try to lie down, her owner would surreptitiously shock her.

An ASPCA veterinarian examined Coffee, a 5-year-old pit bull mix, at her owner's home in Queens.The vet said Coffee performed all her tricks without a shock collar, just with voice control, according to the Associated Press.The animal-welfare organization said it would continue to keep an eye on the situation, and would examine her at some point during a stint at a ballpark.

Meanwhile, fans of the Stop Abusing Coffee Facebook page are outraged.

"I would not enjoy clinching a pipe in my mouth with no hands to take it out and rest my jaw, all the while sitting in 95 degree temps with a fur coat and a T-shirt on, waiting for my "MASTER" to click his remote on my shock collar. If that how he trains dogs, I would suggest he is not the great dog trainer he calls himself. Whether this is abuse by definition of the law or not, it is inhumane, uncompassionate AND TRASHY to make this dog pander for money. GET A JOB MAN!" writes one upset Coffee friend.

Dogsters, what do you think? Has the ASPCA done enough? Should investigators have asked what that object around her neck in photos is, or visited her during one of her work days? Of is finding a happy, wagging dog who seems healthy evidence enough that she's not being mistreated?

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