People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — better known as PETA — has come after the University of Georgia’s football team for its prized mascot.
Uga X — the 10th iteration of the storied football program’s live pure-white English bulldog mascot — was caught on camera sulking and flashing his sad puppy dog eyes during No. 4 Georgia’s victory over the Texas A&M Aggies Saturday afternoon. The good boy sat cooped up in his custom, UGA-themed dog house — which comes equipped with a permanent air conditioner, lots of space, and a prime view of the cheerleaders — while rain poured down between the hedges at Sanford Stadium.
PETA got ahold of the clip and noted in a tweet that Uga “LOOKS MISERABLE” and called on the university to “retire Uga immediately!”
Uga does have a cushy life. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with his owners — the Seiler family — and even has his own room. The Seilers drive Uga up to Athens in his own specially-engineered, Georgia-red car throughout the season for home games. When the Bulldogs are playing on the road, Uga typically travels with the team.
Uga has a publicist, lawyer, and agent, and is treated like royalty around the University of Georgia’s campus. He rides on a golf cart and even has his own suite in a nearby hotel where he gets a bath before every home game.
Given the numerous years of history behind Georgia’s beloved Uga tradition, it seems inconceivable that the university or the Seiler family would listen to PETA. Plus, it seems like Uga lives more than comfortably than what PETA were claiming to portray.
PETA Is Hypocritical
In 2011, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) behaved in a regrettably regular manner: it euthanized the overwhelming majority (PDF) of dogs and cats that it accepted into its shelters. Out of 760 dogs impounded, they killed 713, arranged for 19 to be adopted, and farmed out 36 to other shelters (not necessarily “no kill” ones). As for cats, they impounded 1,211, euthanized 1,198, transferred eight, and found homes for a grand total of five. PETA also took in 58 other companion animals — including rabbits. It killed 54 of them.
These figures don’t resonate well on an organization that claims to be dedicated to the cause of animal rights. Even admitting that PETA sterilized over 10,500 dogs and cats and returned them to their owners, it doesn’t alter the reality that its adoption rate in 2011 was 2.5 percent for dogs and 0.4 for cats. Even acknowledging that PETA never turns an animal away — “the sick, the scarred and broken, the elderly, the aggressive and unsocialized…” — doesn’t diminish the reality that Virginia animal shelters as a whole had a much lower kill rate of 44 percent. And even acknowledging that PETA is often the first to rescue pets when heat waves and hurricanes hit, that doesn’t change the fact that, at one of its shelters, it kills 84 percent of supposedly “unadoptable” animals within 24 hours of their arrival.