"I take full responsibility for my actions. This incident is completely and utterly out of character and I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed."
While Hague's apology is a step in the right direction, it isn't enough, say animal advocates. A Change.org petition calling for his termination from the company has already gained over 35,000 signatures.
"No one is above the law, especially when it comes to the abuse of a being that is vulnerable and defenseless," Kristin Simon of PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department told The Dodo. "Anybody who abuses animals has problems - and people who abuse animals rarely do it once." Hague is currently being investigated by Canadian officials on charges of animal abuse. If convicted, he could face up to $75,000 in fines and two years in jail.
Simon's right - several studies have shown that not only are animal abusers likely to be repeat offenders, but that people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans.
Ewa Demianowicz, campaign manager of companion animals for Humane Society International's Canada branch, told The Dodo that though Canada's animal abuse laws are currently weak, officials should uphold the law where they can in this case.