ATHENS, Ga. (TND) — Following the University of Georgia's (UGA) win in this year's college football championship, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants the team to retire its beloved English bulldog mascot "Uga."
In a release on Thursday, PETA announced that it reached out to UGA President Jere W. Morehead calling for "benevolence" for the "breathing-impaired" live mascot, who frequently appears during games wearing team jerseys.
PETA says it wants UGA to be "a winner not only in football but also in its treatment of others."
The group [PETA] notes that the school’s use of Uga drives demand for breathing-impaired breeds (BIB), such as pugs, boxers, and English and French bulldogs, whose breeding is being banned in other countries, as their purposely bred, grotesquely flattened faces leave them struggling to walk, play, and even breathe," PETA says.
Georgia's current "Uga" comes from a long line of live mascots with the same family, the Seilers, caring for and raising all "Ugas" since 1956.
"Uga X," also known as "Que," is the current live mascot for the University of Georgia.
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can’t UGA find it in its heart to honestly examine the impact of its promotion of deformed dogs and call time on its outdated, live-animal mascot program?”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 the release. “PETA is calling on Jere Morehead to be a peach and replace poor Uga with a human mascot who can support the team in a winning way.”
PETA says it believes that "animals are not entertainment," and hopes UGA one day replaces the bulldog mascot with a human in a costume like the ones sometimes featured on other teams.
Uga is a living, feeling being, not a toy to be carted to chaotic football stadiums across the country and trotted out in front of scores of screaming fans," PETA concludes in its statement.
Despite PETA's desires, it seems the university isn't planning on retiring its beloved line of live mascots anytime soon.
We are proud of our beloved mascot and grateful for the excellent care provided by Uga’s devoted owners, the Seiler family," Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks told Fox News.
The Seiler family says that while "Que" is getting older, he is "healthy," according to 11 Alive News.
Two other bulldogs from the "Uga" family line are set to replace "Que" when necessary, the Seiler family reportedly said.
One, named "Mac," is about a year old, and the other, named "Broom," is only 6 months old.