The Albany Times Union reported Monday morning, citing two state police sources, that Cuomo, a Democrat, left the dog behind at the Executive Mansion before he started staying with one of his sisters in Westchester County last week.
Cuomo asked mansion staffers to take Captain, and one volunteered, but the dog has a history of biting people and he was returned to the mansion just a few days later, the sources told the Times Union.
Cuomo’s top adviser and spokesman Richard Azzopardi was irate at the Times Union report, telling the paper that the arrangement was only “temporary” because the governor is taking a vacation after he officially resigns at 11:59 p.m. Monday.
“Captain is part of the governor’s family and for your nameless ill-informed source to imply they’ve been trying to give him away is untrue,” Azzopardi said in a statement Saturday.
“Someone offered to watch him for a few days while the transition was ongoing but for that to be weaponized and morph from a game of telephone into the pages of your paper is absurd — now excuse us we’re preparing for a major storm,” he said, referring to Tropical Storm Henri.
Cuomo first introduced Captain in 2018 as a mix of shepherd, Siberian and malamute during the New York Conference of Mayors at the Executive Mansion, the Times Union reported. A video of the event showed the governor struggling to control Captain while he complained about the dog’s lack of potty training.
Cuomo is resigning in disgrace after the New York state attorney general alleged he sexually harassed 11 women, including staffers, during his three terms in office. He is also being investigated for his handling of nursing homes and his reporting of nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.
Critics on social media slammed Cuomo for reportedly leaving his dog behind and adding one last faux pas to his scandal-plagued governorship.
Libby Post, executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, issued a statement Monday offering to help adopt Captain to another family, saying he “deserves better.”
“I read with disbelief in this morning’s Times Union, that Captain, Governor Cuomo’s dog, had been left at the Executive Mansion after Cuomo’s belongings had been moved out of the Eagle Street building. The New York State Animal Protection Federation is ready to help place Captain at one of our larger New York State animal shelters, such as the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands, just north of Albany. Shelters like Mohawk Hudson, Lollypop Farm in Rochester and the SPCA Serving Erie County have excellent behavioral experts who can help Captain resolve his ‘nipping’ issues and adopt him into a loving, forever home.”