PETA asks UGA to quit using live bulldog mascot

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 10:50 PM
Last updated 10:54 PM
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ATHENS, Ga. -- An animal rights organization has asked the University of Georgia to quit using a live bulldog as the school’s athletic mascot.

Instead, PETA suggests, the Bulldogs could use a robot dog or costumed mascot, like Hairy Dawg or inflatable Spike, to represent the university’s football and other sports teams.

PETA, formerly known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says using live bulldogs perpetuates dog health problems — like the heart ailment that apparently killed Uga VII last week at the age of 4.

PETA’s Nov. 20 letter to UGA Athletic Director Damon Evans is the second one the group has addressed to UGA officials asking them to stop using live bulldogs.

Last year, when Uga VI died — also of heart problems — PETA wrote athletic officials to ask that the next Uga come from an animal shelter or rescue, and that he be neutered.

Bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties, hip dysplasia heart disorders and other chronic health problems, noted Desiree Acholla, PETA’s animals in entertainment specialist.

Bulldogs, like other dogs, like to run and play, but the very act of playing can be dangerous for the breed because the dogs struggle to breathe, Acholla said in last week’s letter to Evans.

The Uga line of English bulldogs are family pets for Sonny and Cecilia Seiler of Savannah, who have shared the dogs with the Bulldog Nation since 1956.

The family said last week it would find a substitute Uga for this weekend’s Georgia Tech football game, and for a possible bowl game, then pick a new bulldog to carry on the tradition sometime next year.

Bulldogs are prone to breathing and heart problems because of the mashed-in faces they’ve been bred to have, Acholla said in the letter. They also suffer from high rates of eye problems, skin problems and hip dysplasia because of the way they’ve been bred to look — with jowly faces, big heads, stubby legs and thick bodies.

Because of their peculiar body shape, bulldogs are bred by artificial insemination, and their births are by Caesarian section, she said.

Evans did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

UGA did respond to PETA, however — an e-mail from David Muia, a special assistant to UGA Athletic Director Damon Evans.

“You make good points that deserve our consideration,” wrote Muia, but he promised no specific actions other than sharing the letter with the Seilers and talking it over with Evans and other athletic officials.

Swann Seiler, daughter of Sonny and Cecilia, said the family would have no comment on PETA’s letter.

PETA opposes all dog breeding, which the organization says contributes to pet overpopulation as well as chronic health problems for dogs.

“We just don’t want to see this cycle of congenital health defects and other hereditary problems associated with inbreeding simply to create a brand for the university,” Acholla said. “If Ugas are being created for a specific image, this can only be done through generations of inbreeding.”

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jasonpilgrim
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jasonpilgrim 11/24/09 - 11:55 pm
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You have got to be kidding

You have got to be kidding me?

robaroo
779
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robaroo 11/24/09 - 11:59 pm
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Why???????

Why???????

Georgialina
7441
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Georgialina 11/24/09 - 11:59 pm
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PETA are idiots!! These

PETA are idiots!! These Bulldogs are treated better than most humans. We should all be so lucky to be treated as well as this linage of dawgs.

JerryAtrick
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 12:07 am
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"People Enjoy Tasty Animals"

"People Enjoy Tasty Animals" Bunch of loonies.....

tckr1983
360
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tckr1983 11/25/09 - 12:08 am
0
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Why would the University even

Why would the University even waste their time responding to these idiots? Sonny Seiler owns these Dawgs not Mike Vick! Lets think about this one PETA... This dog lives a life most people could dream of! Seriously, what has this country come to that people like this are allowed to actually influence anything at all.

Philo-Publis
1
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Philo-Publis 11/25/09 - 12:13 am
0
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I don't think PETA will get

I don't think PETA will get very far in Georgia. But this story made my day. One thing is for sure, this country is going to the Dogs... Oops, sorry PETA!

Jake
32764
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Jake 11/25/09 - 12:21 am
0
0
Tell PETA to shove it up

Tell PETA to shove it up their big wazoo. UGA is an icon in Georgia and also around the country where there are Bulldog fans, even here in California.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 11/25/09 - 12:36 am
0
0
So these dogs do not normally

So these dogs do not normally look this way, they are formed with the smushed faces, the messed up hips, body etc? That seems like more animal cruelty to me knowingly giving a dog health problems like that, than having them enjoy life as a mascost, which I've heard they are treated very well.

cparker
83
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cparker 11/25/09 - 12:38 am
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PETA didn't seem so crazy

PETA didn't seem so crazy when Micheal Vick was being convicted... Give them enough time and they are going to ask Coach Richt to be investigated for poisoning the stupid dawg. I can careless about a bulldawg because I am a Gator fan anyway.

LMS2005
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LMS2005 11/25/09 - 12:40 am
0
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wouldn't be the same without

wouldn't be the same without a REAL DAWG !!!

tnjsw
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tnjsw 11/25/09 - 12:47 am
0
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Somebody check and see if

Somebody check and see if they are part of Obama's liberal loonies. Sure sounds like it.

linux
96
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linux 11/25/09 - 12:51 am
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OMG, this is something that

OMG, this is something that the liberal morons here in Seattle would love to vote for. (In Seattle, it's illegal to kill a mole, believe it or not. De-clawing cats is next).

Stick to your guns, Bulldogs.

gargoyle
17600
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gargoyle 11/25/09 - 12:53 am
0
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The heads of PETA information

The heads of PETA information was very informative . Those same PETA heads have enlightening perspectives

kat30815
14
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kat30815 11/25/09 - 01:41 am
0
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Why don't I ever see these

Why don't I ever see these people doing something USEFULL like rescueing cats from people that are hoarding them.

KSL
131271
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KSL 11/25/09 - 02:02 am
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First, let me say, PETA does

First, let me say, PETA does not have my respect. They have their problems. However, overly inbreeding a species is terribly wrong and the bulldog species is an example of that. Now on Saturday night when that pesky yellow jacket, which no one is bothering to inbreed, is flying around my coke, it will be an annoyance. It should be on the field stinging a human bulldog.

BamaGirlinNA
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BamaGirlinNA 11/25/09 - 02:18 am
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As an SEC football fan (Roll

As an SEC football fan (Roll Tide!), I have seen quite a few Bulldogs running up and down the field. However, they were of the Georgia variety, not English...can't say I've ever seen Uga out of breath after returning a punt . Gonna pull for the Dawgs on this one. Hope they're listening over in Mississippi...

JerryAtrick
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 02:51 am
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BamaGirl - I think y'all

BamaGirl - I think y'all should get a full-sized live elephant for the sideline mascot. How much fun could they have with that? Plus it would be faster than your defensive linemen..... GO GATORS!

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 11/25/09 - 02:53 am
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These people are complete

These people are complete idiots. Having a well taken care of mascot dog probably does more positive for helping dogs get adopted than anything the idiots of PETA could or would ever do. This organization is a bunch of left wing loons who still like to throw paint on furs and do more damage to our country than anything they have ever done that was positive.

GGpap
491
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GGpap 11/25/09 - 02:58 am
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And the informative facts

And the informative facts concerning the nature and breeding of Bulldogs passes right over your heads? Even David Muia, an assistant to the UGA Athletic Director had the common sense to respond to the PETA letter with a measure of decency when he emailed them the following, “You make good points that deserve our consideration.” Many of you, with few exceptions, have responded to this article as though you were knuckle-dragging Neandrathals. Were you also supporters of Michael Vick's former endeavors? GGpap

JerryAtrick
0
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 03:11 am
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GGpap - Wasn't it you that

GGpap - Wasn't it you that made the observation that senile geezers probably shouldn't post in the middle of the night when the brain isn't functioning? Having a robot Uga will not eliminate the English Bulldog breed. Take your meds, go back to bed and try again in the morning.

BamaGirlinNA
0
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BamaGirlinNA 11/25/09 - 04:33 am
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Jerry, I can picture the

Jerry, I can picture the headlines... "Phil Fulmer accuses Alabama of paying mascot with peanuts" and "PETA accuses Alabama of underpaying mascot, says he worked for peanuts"

JerryAtrick
0
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 04:44 am
0
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LOL! You rock, girl! (but

LOL! You rock, girl! (but it's Lane Kiffen we love to hate now - Phat Phil is gone!)

JerryAtrick
0
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 04:46 am
0
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Hey, since you are a 'Bama

Hey, since you are a 'Bama fan, can you tell me if the rumor that Auburn feeds eagles to their tiger is true? I heard that's why they can't really decide on a mascot, they are sorta mixed together.

BamaGirlinNA
0
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BamaGirlinNA 11/25/09 - 04:48 am
0
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I know, but he's so

I know, but he's so easy...lol

BamaGirlinNA
0
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BamaGirlinNA 11/25/09 - 04:49 am
0
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Shhh...PETA might be

Shhh...PETA might be listening...

celticgoddess96
0
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celticgoddess96 11/25/09 - 05:09 am
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PETA.. People for the Eating

PETA..

People for the Eating of Tasty Animals...

Riverman1
84906
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Riverman1 11/25/09 - 06:22 am
0
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I'd keep news of the death

I'd keep news of the death secret. We need to stop announcing when the mascot dies and simply put the next one in quietly.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 11/25/09 - 06:56 am
0
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Just as the student body has

Just as the student body has a turnover on a regular basis, the mascot does. I think it's cool that there's always a fresh Uga available, especially this year. It seems that some Uga's don't last very long. Wait 'til next year!

TechLover
15
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TechLover 11/25/09 - 07:09 am
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PETA is a bunch of nuts. As

PETA is a bunch of nuts. As much as I dislike (hate) UGAly, as the owner of 5 dogs, I'm saddened at the mascots death. It is sort of creepy that they have to be artificialy inseminated and have to have c-sections. Maybe the use of a shelter dog as a replacement wouldn't be such a bad idea and leave the puppy mill out of it.

JerryAtrick
0
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 07:24 am
0
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Figures, coming from a fan of

Figures, coming from a fan of biting insects.

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