Amy Cooper Gets Dog Back: Despite Animal Abuse


When bird watcher Christian Cooper asked Amy Cooper (no relation) to leash her dog, she launched into an adrenaline-filled rant which was witnessed coast to coast. From Central Park in New York City, she phoned police and you can see and hear her say, “An African American  man, who is recording me, threatening myself and my dog.” There clearly was no threat.

While all this is happening, she does leash her dog, but also chokes her dog.

Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue accepted the dog back instantly after the incident, May 26.

On June 3,  according to the Rescue Facebook page, the dog has been returned to Ms. Cooper. “Abandoned Angels would like to express its gratitude for the outpouring of support regarding the dog that was recently placed in our custody, following release of a troubling video that was brought to our attention. The dog was promptly evaluated by our veterinarian, who found that he was in good health. We have coordinated with the appropriate New York City law enforcement agencies, which have declined to examine the dog or take it into their custody. Accordingly, and consistent with input received from law enforcement, we have now complied with the owner’s request for return of the dog.”

This entire incident wouldn’t have occurred if the dog was not off-leash at a location where, according to local ordinance, dogs must be leashed. I suggest leashing a dog in a public park is in the best interest of the dog for several reasons. Ms. Cooper was clearly disregarding a New York City ordinance, but I can’t help but wonder if she has done this before – and therefore potentially endangering her dog.

Also, she was so focused on her actions that she was actually choking her poor dog in the process, as evidenced in the video. According to veterinarians, the dog was not injured – but clearly her dog was uncomfortable (at best). Remember, dogs also pick up on our emotions. I have little doubt that between being choked (quite literally) and on the other end of Ms. Coopers panic, that the dog was terrorized. I suggest Ms. Cooper is guilty of animal abuse based on this video alone. Where are the New York City prosecutors? Unfortunately, dogs don’t hire attorneys.

Clearly, Christian Cooper was polite in his request that Ms. Cooper leash her dog, and that’s when she “lost it.” Obviously, you can witness the sad reality of prejudice but I also wonder how easily Ms. Cooper can “lose it” and may have done so in the past. I don’t know the answer to that.

The way I read it, the Rescue statement suggests they had no legal choice but to return the dog.

I understand, shelters and rescues or responsible breeders have no way to psychologically assess potential adopters.

Aside from giving up her dog immediately following the incident, she was forced to give up her job. “Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the company said on Twitter.

Ms. Cooper did apologize to birder, Mr. Cooper. But then again with the onslaught of media (and sadly, even death threats), arguably she had little choice.

When word came out that Ms. Cooper’s dog was returned to her, I reached out to the rescue before commenting or writing this blog – but there has been no response.