ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. — Animal rights activists sent a letter to the University of Georgia Athens President Jere W. Morehead demanding they retire the school’s bulldog mascot, Uga.
In the letter to Morehead, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claimed that the school’s use of Uga drives demand for breathing-impaired breeds such as pugs, boxers and English and French bulldogs, whose breeding is banned in other countries.
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According to PETA, breathing-impaired breeds are purposely bred with “grotesquely” flattened faces that leave them struggling to walk, play and even breathe.
This is the second time PETA has urged UGA leaders to stop using the beloved dog as the mascot.
“As the back-to-back national champion, can’t UGA find it in its heart to honestly examine the impact of its promotion of deformed dogs and call time on its outdated, live-animal mascot program?” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Jere Morehead to be a peach and replace poor Uga with a human mascot who can support the team in a winning way.”
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The current mascot, Uga X, also known as Que, was around for all of UGA’s games during the 2015 season but was officially named mascot in November 2015 against Georgia Southern University.
Over the last 100 years, all 10 official bulldogs who have served as Uga have been part of a line of pure white English bulldogs owned by the Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler family in Savannah.
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“Please be a champion not just in football but also for dogs,” PETA wrote. “We hope you’ll consider replacing Uga with a willing human mascot, like the ones at many other universities.
“We are proud of our beloved mascot and grateful for the excellent care provided by Uga’s devoted owners, the Seiler family,” the school told Channel 2 in a statement
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