PETA

Concerns Raised Over Use of Live Animal Mascots at Sporting Events

A viral video from the Sugar Bowl showing University of Texas’ longhorn steer Bevo breaking through an enclosure and charging into an area where University of Georgia’s bulldog Uga was being photographed has renewed concerns for live animal mascots, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on its blog condemned the use of animal mascots, saying “It’s quite possible that Bevo was simply scared by the noise, lights, and chaos in the stadium and tried to flee from the confines of his makeshift pen. But that doesn’t change the fact that Uga or any of the humans standing nearby could easily have been trampled and killed.” The University of Tennessee’s coonhounds, called Smokey, have been docile and without injury since introduced in 1953, minus one incident in 2006 when Smokey IX nipped an Alabama receiver after the player fell on him while running out of bounds to catch a pass.

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Bellevue PetSmart Raided, Animals Confiscated After Video and Photos Surface

Authorities raided a Bellevue PetSmart last week after a video and photos surfaced showing sick and injured animals allegedly not being cared for properly reports The Tennessean. The Metro Nashville Public Health Department with assistance from Metro police carried out the sweep, which took place in the morning hours at One Bellevue Place after a search warrant was issued earlier that day. Health Department spokesman Brian Todd said Metro Animal Care and Control received a video and photos showing inadequate care for animals at the business. "We confiscated any injured or sick animals and have requested veterinary records as well as their policies on animal care," Todd said. "Based on that, we will work with Metro police and the (Davidson County) District Attorney's Office to determine whether charges will be filed."
 
According to a statement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the incidents were documented by a store employee and reported to PETA, who in turn provided law enforcement with the photos and videos of managers "repeatedly refusing to provide sick, injured and dying animals with veterinary care in order to keep costs down so that they would receive bonuses." 
 
“We are always committed to putting the needs of the pets in our care first," a statement from Petsmart said. "We empower our store associates to do what’s right for all pets, which includes instruction to have any sick animal immediately seen by a veterinarian if needed. There is no adverse effect on a store team that takes every step possible to care for pets. ... Additionally, we are investigating the validity of the video, given some of the footage is several years old.” So far no arrests have been made.
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