Victory MMA and Fitness gym owner Joe Mannino recently was the recipient of backlash from the San Diego, California community after he promoted a puppy raffle to help promote his business. NBC News 7 reports the story where Mannino states he didnot know it was a crime to use a dog as a prize for a raffle.
Mannino tolds NBC News 7 that he paid $2,200 for a 9-week-old Boxer named “Victory.” New membership signees would be entered into a raffle. Basically, join the gym and you could earn a shot at winning the puppy.
But after the raffle was published online comments were made such as “Dogs are not a door prize,” or “This is gimmicky and irresponsible,” and “Living beings should not be given away as prizes.”
The complaints even triggered a San Diego Humane Society investigation. A humane society officer explained to Mannino that using a puppy as a raffle prize can be a crime in some cases.
Mannino believes he had good intentions and did not mean to upset anyone or break any laws.
“We were excited about it,” he said. “We love dogs and we thought that sharing that kind of love was going to be a good thing.”
As a result, Mannino has cancelled the raffle but will give “Victory” away to the person that provides the best written explanation of how you can provide the best home for the puppy.
Mannino says the gym will also take on all neutering, vaccinations and training costs.
Stop by Victory MMA and Fitness at 3666 Midway Drive in San Diego to be entered.