ATHENS, Ga. (Gray News) - For the second time this year, the University of Georgia has found itself in the crosshairs of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Before the Sugar Bowl between Georgia and the University of Texas on New Year’s Day, an attempt to pose the school’s bulldog with Bevo, a longhorn steer, went awry when Bevo broke through a barrier and charged at Uga X.
No harm came to either, but PETA pounced on the opportunity to call for the end of live animals as mascots.
Nearly 11 months later, the non-profit took a shot at Georgia Monday afternoon by tweeting a video clip of Uga X sitting in his air-conditioned dog house during an unspecified rainy football game.
“HE LOOKS MISERABLE! No dog deserves to be packed up, carted from state to state, and paraded in front of a stadium full of screaming fans,” PETA said. “Animals are NOT mascots @UGAAthletics must retire Uga immediately! He should be at home with a loving family.”
The university has not responded to PETA’s request. But the school’s athletics website makes it clear Uga X, affectionately known as Que, receives care of the highest order.
Dating back to Uga I in 1956, the Seiler family has shared their family pet with the university.
The tradition began with Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler, but now his son Charles is tasked with transporting Uga X on the 4-hour voyage from Savannah to Athens for every Georgia home game.
Since bulldogs don’t deal with heat very well, Uga X rides in a truck specially enabled to surround him with 60-degree air for the entire journey, CBS News reported.
Adoring fans greet Uga X as soon as he arrives in Athens. Many just want to see him, but plenty of fans still flock closer to pet him, maybe take a picture with him.
After that, he makes his way to his own suite where he gets a bath. On game day, he is dressed in a jersey made from the same material the players wear.
When Uga X passes away, he will join his relatives already buried at the stadium.
Last month, PETA asked Mississippi State it retire its live-bulldog mascot, Bully, after an Auburn player slid into the canine out of bounds.