People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) attacked the University of Georgia for its use of a live mascot following the death of the school’s winningest mascot.
Uga X died in his sleep at his home in Savannah earlier this week. He was the official mascot from Nov. 21, 2015, until after they won the national championship last year.
Georgia went 91-18 during Uga X’s tenure, their best record with any mascot – but PETA says the mascot was “born to lose” due to its breeding as a breathing-impaired bulldog.
“The ‘winningest mascot’ in UGA’s history was born to lose since, like all breathing-impaired breeds, he suffered from debilitating deformities such as an unnaturally shortened nose and airway that left him panting and gasping for air, particularly in the sweltering Southern heat,” PETA said in a statement.
“PETA is calling on the university to end its live-mascot program and to stop exploiting these victims of cruel breeding practices before another bulldog suffers and dies on its watch.”
After Georgia won it all last year, PETA called for the school to end the use of live mascots.
The group claims that the school’s use of Uga X “drives demand for breathing-impaired breeds (BIBs),” like pugs, boxers, and English and French bulldogs.
“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can’t UGA find it in its heart to honestly examine the impact of its promotion of deformed dogs and call time on its outdated, live-animal mascot program?” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman asked in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital. “PETA is calling on (University of Georgia president) Jere Morehead to be a peach and replace poor Uga with a human mascot who can support the team in a winning way.”
French and English bulldogs are prone to breathing issues due to their flat faces, and some live with brachycephalic syndrome. Breeding of BIBs is banned in some countries.
PETA also blasted the National Dog Show, calling the contest “shameful” and saying that the dogs’ deformed faces are “nothing to celebrate.”
The organization also wrote to the school in 2019.
There have been 11 “Ugas” since the mascot was first introduced in 1956, each of which has been descended from the original. The newest one is often the son of the predecessor.