Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett is being sued after allegedly abandoning his boxer puppy at the Lucky Dog Daycare & Resort in Tampa, Fla. It might not rank up there with Michael Vick’s unbelievably brutal abuse to dogs, but it’s still pretty sickening and demonstrates an alarming lack of compassion and no sense of responsibility.
After the Seattle Seahawks signed Bennett as an unrestricted free agent on March 15, 2013, the defensive end moved from Florida to Seattle, Wash. While moving, Bennett placed Koa at the boarding facility, and never returned to pick him up.
After being left at the boarding facility, the 4-month-old boxer puppy, whose name is “Koa,” allegedly suffered an emotional breakdown and became so upset that he would not eat and lost weight. He also began to lose his hair. Although the boarders tried multiple times to contact defensive end Bennett regarding his puppy, Bennett never returned their calls or inquired about his puppy. As Koa’s health began to get worse, the staffers were forced to find a foster home for the puppy. Koa is fortunate that Bennett at least abandoned him in a safe place. Many dogs are simply let loose to fend for themselves or surrendered to shelters which are forced to euthanize millions of dogs each year.
Not only did Bennett never retrieve his puppy, but true to his demonstrated lack of responsibility, staffers at the facility also claim that they were never paid for taking care of Koa.
Animals are not disposable. They are living breathing creatures who feel pain and who depend upon their owners for the basic necessities of life. Bennett must have seen his dog as a thing or a toy that was too inconvenient to have to move to his new home in Seattle. I wonder why Bennett adopted a puppy in the first place, especially since he obviously did not spend enough time to bond with it or develop any kind of feelings for it. Perhaps training a puppy proved to require too much effort for Bennett. With no word from Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett, all we can do is speculate about the motives and the character that led to his allegedly abandoning his puppy and being sued.
Bennett’s career has afforded him the wherewithal and the means to be a responsible pet owner. On April 26, 2009, Bennett entered the NFL as a college free agent with the Seattle Seahawks. Tampa Bay claimed him off of waivers on October 12, 2009. He appeared in 50 games, starting 28 times, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His career stats include 15 sacks, 114 career tackles, 30 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He ranked 23rd in the NFL in 2012 with nine sacks, which was the 14th best in the NFC. His three forced fumbles tied him for 17th in the league.
Bennett’s performance for the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 included 16 games played with three starts, 18 solo tackles and 8.5 sacks. He forced one fumble and recovered one.
The Seattle Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints in a divisional playoff game on Saturday.
The lawsuit against Bennett seeks to recover the boarding fees due for Koa’s extended stay at the Lucky Dog and to also reimburse the cost of finding a foster home for the puppy, who now has a new home and a new name – “Quigley.” The damages sought are said to be in the neighborhood of $5000. With the Seattle Seahawks paying Michael Bennett $5 million this year, it seems implausible that the NFL player simply couldn’t afford to pick up the puppy and was forced to abandon it, leading him to being sued.
By Jennifer Pfalz