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What's Your Take: Is It Mean to Have Live Dog Mascots?

What's Your Take: Is It Mean to Have Live Dog Mascots?

This lovely home once held Uga the Seventh, the official mascot of the University of Georgia. Sadly the four-year-old bulldog passed away from a heart ailment on Nov. 19 in Savannah, the same disease that claimed the pup's father (and predecessor), Uga the Sixth.

The last game was mascot free, and there are several opinions about who, or what, should replace the smooshy dog. While the school has no plans yet, PETA has suggested they substitute a robotic dog for the likes of a real one explaining:

It is time for the university to put an end to the cycle of suffering endured by dogs who are brought into the world solely to represent the school’s ‘brand’. By choosing a humane alternative to the use of live animals as school mascots, UGA can show that compassion always wins.

I certainly liked identifying the schools with wild mascots (and even more wild mascots) and the pooch had a loving home when not repping the bulldogs on the field. Do you think it's mean to put these expectations on a pet, or is this just a sensationalist expectation to begin with?

Image Source: Getty
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danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
I said Yes because they're breeding dogs in a bloodline where they KNOW there are serious health problems. That's cruel. If it was a rescued dog, No would be my answer.
kscincotta kscincotta 7 years
As I understand it, Uga is part of a continuous lineage that is, in fact, maintained through breeders. In part, this could account for the heart weakness in both Uga VI and VII. The dogs that are chosen (and their siblings) are very pampered. I also believe that each Uga is chosen from the litter based on personality, temperament, etc to ensure that the dogs aren't being made uncomfortable by their "job". I would guess that this lineage was found to be well suited for the "job", which is why they've stuck with it rather than adopting a rescued bulldog that may not be as good of a fit.
weffie weffie 7 years
I think it totally depends on the people taking care of the dog. It's not 'mean' to have pet dogs at home, but some people shouldn't be allowed to because they don't do a good job of caring for their pets. The same would apply to schools, if the dog has a happy life and enjoys the gig then it's ok by me, but if they treat him as an object and neglect him in the off-season it's obviously a problem. If they do choose another dog, I really hope they'll adopt a rescue.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
uga probably has a better life than many dogs out there!
mschelley mschelley 7 years
if the dog is being bred solely for the purpose of being a mascot, then of course that is wrong. however, if the school "adopts" the mascot, ie: an alum or coach's dog is adopted by the team because he's always at the games, and enjoys himself, then what's the harm? it will be evident that the dog either loves the attention or does not. If the dog isn't comfortable with, or scared of the crowd then he certainly shouldn't be forced to be the on field mascot.
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