PETA asking UGA to drop mascot in favor of robot or costume

ATHENS — An animal rights organization says the use of a live bulldog mascot contributes to the breed’s health problems and wants the University of Georgia to consider an alternative.

PETA suggests Georgia could use a robot dog or a costumed mascot instead of the white English bulldogs that have represented the school at football games since 1956.

Last week, bulldog mascot Uga VII died at the age of 4, apparently of a heart ailment.

Desiree Acholla of PETA says bulldogs are prone to heart problems and other medical issues because of inbreeding.

Acholla made the comments in a letter to university athletic director Damon Evans. The Athens Banner-Herald reports that an assistant to Evans replied that the letter makes good points that deserve consideration, but promised no specific action.