Andrew Cuomo, who will cease to be governor at midnight on Tuesday, is known for having few, if any, human friends. But surely his dog, Captain, will remain a beloved companion, even through political scandal and geographic dislocation — right?
The Albany Times Union reports that Cuomo has been asking staff members whether they want to take Captain off his hands. According to the paper, the shepherd-Siberian-malamute mix is difficult to control, and has “nipped a few people” since the governor adopted him three years ago. One staffer reportedly attempted to adopt the volatile animal, but abandoned ship when he found himself overwhelmed.
Cuomo moved his belongings out of the governor’s mansion last week and has been staying with his sister in Westchester since then. As of now, his future housing arrangement is unclear.
Before this, Cuomo had seemed to relish Captain’s presence in his life. The dog was frequently mentioned during the governor’s widely watched pandemic briefings last year, appears in Cuomo’s Instagram cover photo, and stood loyally by as Cuomo unsuccessfully attempted to navigate the political storm that took him down.
Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi denied the premise of the Times Union’s story, telling the paper that “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.” According to Azzopardi, Cuomo merely wanted someone to watch the dog while he went on vacation. As one of Cuomo’s final acts as governor on Monday night, he also denied the report that he was abandoning one of his few remaining allies:
Nevertheless, the New York State Animal Protection Federation promptly put out a statement expressing its dismay and suggesting that Captain be placed at a humane animal shelter. And the long-shot Republican mayoral candidate, Curtis Sliwa, offered to take matters into his own hands:
Perhaps unrelatedly, former Cuomo spokesperson Melissa DeRosa said on Monday that the soon-to-be-ex-governor does not want to run for office again.