News & Politics

DogGate: Cuomo's Latest Scandal

AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File)

According to a report from the Albany Times-Union, Governor Cuomo “recently has asked staff members at the Executive Mansion if anyone would like to keep his dog, Captain, who has remained at the state-owned residence after the governor moved out last week.”

His resignation is to take effect on Tuesday.

Cuomo got the puppy in 2018 and immediately showed him off to the media.

Richard Azzopardi, Cuomo’s spokesman, disputed the allegations and said that Cuomo has only been looking for a “temporary” arrangement, as Cuomo is planning to take a vacation after leaving office.

“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 wants to go on vacation. They love that dog,” Azzopardi insisted. “That’s not what he asked: He didn’t ask to give away the dog. … This nameless source is crazy. … I can’t believe this is what I’m dealing with right now, when I’m dealing with a major storm.”

But, the source of the story, who works for the State Police, said they were told: “he tried giving the dog to the (a mansion employee). … Apparently (the employee) took the dog home and it didn’t work — the dog walks him, he don’t walk the dog.”

Captain reportedly has nipped at “several State Police members” as well as staff members, “and the governor would just laugh. … The dog remains at the mansion.”

It sure sounds like Cuomo wants to get rid of a dog he can’t handle on his own. Captain seems to have outlived his political usefulness.

This story makes me think about how Donald Trump was criticized for not getting a dog. The media openly lamented that Trump would be the first president not to have a pet. “They say a dog is man’s best friend – but Donald Trump could become the first US President for nearly 130 years not to have a canine companion in the White House,” wrote the Independent. “Why does President Donald Trump hate dogs?” asked Newsweek. In 2019, New York Times opinion columnist Frank Bruni attempted to explain “why Donald Trump hates your dog.”

Trump himself explained why he wouldn’t bother getting a dog on the campaign trail: “I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time. How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?”

According to Trump, he was even advised to get a dog because of the good optics. “Feels a little phony to me,” he said.

If Cuomo really is trying to get rid of Captain, he proves Trump’s point.