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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robbie1
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robbie1 11/25/09 - 06:50 am
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Isn't PETA the same group

Isn't PETA the same group that was caught "rescuing" animals from shelters, then killing them and dumping the bodies in the trash behind grocery stores?

55 F-100
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55 F-100 11/25/09 - 06:59 am
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PETA has not only crossed the

PETA has not only crossed the lunacy border, they have done so by a country mile! This is so ludicrous that The University of Georgia President Michael Adams should be the spokesperson to tell PETA that their suggestion is ridiculous, offensive and deserves no consideration, period! Maybe PETA could go after the coonskin cap on the Tennessee Volunteer next!

Chad
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Chad 11/25/09 - 07:08 am
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PETA should raise a fit with

PETA should raise a fit with the AKA they have ruined more dogs with their standards of what a bread should look and be like than with this Mascot which has the cadillac of cadillacs of health care plans.

TechLover
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TechLover 11/25/09 - 07:13 am
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jerry: Exactly what

jerry: Exactly what "figures"? You don't find it creepy that these animals have been bred to the point where they can no longer procreate naturally and have to be artificially inseminated and be born by c-section? These are dogs for crying out loud. If left in the wild, this breed would be extinct. I have no proble with UGAly wanting a mascot, but these people run nothing but a puppy mill. Granted, since it's the UGAly line, it's probably an expensive puppy mill, but a puppy mill nonetheless. If it was anything but UGAly, most of the posters on here would be caling for their heads, like they do for pet shop owners who do the same.

JerryAtrick
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 07:15 am
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I don't think it has anything

I don't think it has anything to do with the University of Georgia using this bloodline since 1956, no. I seem to remember Winston Churchill having one long before that....

TechLover
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TechLover 11/25/09 - 07:23 am
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I doubt if Churchill's had to

I doubt if Churchill's had to be born by c-section and conceived by artificial insemination.

JerryAtrick
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JerryAtrick 11/25/09 - 07:33 am
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So the mother dog had to

So the mother dog had to suffer more in the olden days when the breed was being preserved. Have a blissful day! I won't even ask you about horse racing or greyhounds or slaves in colonial America for that matter. Using a robot Uga will instantly cure all the ills of soceity!

thankgodforaugusta
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thankgodforaugusta 11/25/09 - 07:45 am
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anyone that believes anything

anyone that believes anything peta says should check out this website http://www.petakillsanimals.com/ i believe they murder more animals than any other organization in America Since 1998, PETA has opted to “put down” 21,339 adoptable dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens instead of finding homes for them

HotFoot
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HotFoot 11/25/09 - 07:51 am
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While I don't agree with

While I don't agree with their solution (robot, inflatable, etc.) I do agree with the last paragraph of this article. The breeding that is going on in the name of the University's image is inhumane and irresponsible. Why not simply draft a new bulldog puppy from a different line each time? This line is spent and the poor dogs suffer because of it.

shortbusspecial
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shortbusspecial 11/25/09 - 08:48 am
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PETA has gone too far. How

PETA has gone too far. How can they make accusations like this and don't have any proof. Because the dog died early you ask the University this? This organization should be tied to a stake and burned. This is worse than a witchhunt. They are witches! I'm not even a Georgia Fan but this is ridicoulus. Next they will be asking for citenship for animals and
they will be on welfare.

truthisstillhere
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truthisstillhere 11/25/09 - 09:03 am
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i too think peta are a bunch

i too think peta are a bunch of idiots but i do agree with them to a point......the original bulldog did not have such a smashed up looking face or as many medical problems......the ills of pure breeds are totally due to breeders and kennel clubs setting so called standards of what is the ideal/perfect look......at some point someone said the smashed face look was better so that is what breeders started attempting to promote in their pairings.....to get a particular look sometimes a lot of inbreeding had to be done.....and genetic diversity was compromised.....not just in bulldogs but most breeds....this is one reason i will never own another pure blood dog....i always look for the mixed mutts and oops puppies......they usually have much fewer health issues and better temperaments

Niko Mahs
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Niko Mahs 11/25/09 - 09:06 am
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It's not the mascot, it's the

It's not the mascot, it's the team that has a problem. Go Tech!

b1
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b1 11/25/09 - 09:08 am
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The word PETA makes me want

The word PETA makes me want to go eat a big fat steak!

gapeach70
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gapeach70 11/25/09 - 10:37 am
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PETA has really gone off the

PETA has really gone off the deep-end with this one. UGA's President Adams should tell PETA where they can stick their carrots. UGA (the dog) has been the university's beloved mascot since the 50's, and as such, I don't see that changing. Hey PETA, don't forget Tennessee's mascot Smokey; he's a live animal so why not raise cain about that too? No offense to TN, although I am a die-hard GA fan; I'm just trying to make a point. Words of advice to PETA: STAY AWAY FROM GA!!

gapeach70
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gapeach70 11/25/09 - 10:40 am
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And to Niko Mahs: Looking

And to Niko Mahs: Looking forward to Saturday..GO DAWGS!!!

sojakpelfree
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sojakpelfree 11/25/09 - 11:42 am
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As the Uga clan of mutts

As the Uga clan of mutts would say, "SCREW peta"!!!

Bored in GA
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Bored in GA 11/25/09 - 12:26 pm
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PETA...Protect those animals

PETA...Protect those animals that are REALLY abused..These Bulldogs are treated with the BEST of care..If all animals were treated so good..PLEASE get a life!! PETA...Peculiar editions turned awful!!

crackerjack
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crackerjack 11/25/09 - 02:48 pm
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i think peta officials should

i think peta officials should be spayed and neutered first, so their inbreeding, that has evidently deteriorated their i.q. into the negatives,proves their miniscule education vastly exceeds their intelligence.

Jdog33
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Jdog33 11/30/09 - 11:35 am
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tnjsw you are truly an idiot.

tnjsw you are truly an idiot. I was waiting to see if you would blame Ugi death on the president...Stop using every opportunity to disrespect Our President..Grow up clown.............my comment

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