When defensive end Michael Bennett first signed with the Seahawks in March of 2013 he had to pack up and leave Tampa Bay and head to Seattle. Before making the trip he dropped his pet boxer Koa at a dog daycare. The only trouble is he never went back for her.
The dog remained at the Lucky Dog Daycare facility in Tampa for ten months. During that time Bennett racked up an outstanding bill of $5,000 for the feeding and care of the dog. Back in December the owners of Lucky Dog filed a lawsuit for that amount in order to recoup their losses. Finally early on this year the kennel found new owners for Koa. Nick Eaton of the Seattle Post Intelligencer has the details:
“Finally, after Koa had been there for 10 months, Lucky Dog worked with a Florida boxer rescue organization and found the dog new owners. The pup has a new name, Quigley, and seems to have recovered from a long year without any primary caretakers…”
The lawyer representing Lucky Dog says that the Bennett family was negligent and ignored repeated court orders to pay:
“The Bennetts dodged phone calls and emails, and even disregarded court orders, throughout the ordeal, Aubin said. Even after a Hillsborough County, Fla., judge ordered a judgment of about $8,200 this spring, the Bennetts continued to ignore the case, Aubin said. In early June, Aubin filed a motion for contempt of court. That seemed to attract the attention of Bennett’s agent, whose attorney recently contacted Aubin to work out a settlement…”
Bennett finally ended up settling for $15,000. He has refused to comment on the matter.
This is a really unfortunate story. When I first read reports that Bennett had abandoned his dog in Tampa I was skeptical. It seems so out of character given everything else we have seen from the gregarious defensive lineman.
While this is nothing compared to the horrors that Michael Vick subjected his animals too, it’s disturbing to think that Bennett would just leave his dog twisting in the wind like that. With as much money as Bennett as making it would have been a simple matter getting Koa shipped to his new home in Seattle, or at least paying the dog daycare business what was owed in a more timely manner.
Of course we haven’t heard anything from Bennett so there may be a side to this that we’re not hearing, but the fact that he hasn’t spoken about it leads me to think that he really doesn’t have an argument.
I would like to believe that this is all a giant misunderstanding. Perhaps the dog had behavior issues that we’re not hearing about, perhaps Bennett felt that the dog daycare facility was overcharging. I don’t know what else to say about this other than I am extremely disappointed.