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Animal group investigates alleged abuse of 'panhandling pooch'


pooch Photo Credit: J. Conrad Williams/Newsday

Updated May 25, 4:55 p.m.: After an officer from the ASPCA's Human Law Enforcement department, along with an ASPCA veterinarian, went to Coffee's house to investigate the alleged abuse, they concluded that she "bore no signs of abuse or neglect," an ASPCA spokesman told amNewYork.

A panhandling pooch who sits outside Citi Field and Yankee Stadium may look cute decked out in team gear, but an animal-rights group is now investigating whether Coffee’s owner is being cruel.

A spokesman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it received calls alleging abuse of Coffee this weekend, so it sent investigators to Yankee Stadium, but didn't find the dog or her owner.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and be prepared to take appropriate action, as warranted," the spokesman said. He declined to say whether investigators would return.

Coffee is often spotted with a pipe in her mouth while passersby take pictures with her as she solicits donations, her owner watching nearby.

A Facebook page called Stop Abusing Coffee, which has drawn nearly 7,000 followers, claims the dog wears a shock collar and is mistreated. The dog's owner couldn't be found for comment.

The Mets said they "addressed the matter" with authorities. The Yankees didn't return requests for comment.


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