(Gray News) — A close call at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday night was all the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals needed to see to revive their call for live mascots to be retired.
After a sideline collision between an Auburn player and Jak — the bulldog that serves as Mississippi State’s live mascot, Bully — PETA sent a letter to Mississippi State asking it to end the use of live animals as mascots. The animal rights group wants MSU to pledge never to use live animals again.
“It was sheer luck that this close call didn’t leave Jak severely injured or even dead, and it’s never been fair game to subject a dog to the bright lights, screaming fans, and booming noise of a football stadium,” PETA Senior Director Marta Holmberg said in a press release. “PETA is urging MSU to be a dog’s best friend and end its live-mascot program—and we’ll gladly help find Jak a loving adoptive home where he can live out the rest of his days in peace.”
Auburn tailback JaTarvious Whitlow scored the first touchdown of the game on a 30-yard run, but C.J. Morgan made him work for it.
Whitlow and Morgan made a mad dash for the near corner of the end zone. Whitlow’s momentum, along with a diving shove from Morgan, carried him across the goal line, out of bounds and into Jak.
Fortunately, Jak was OK. He was only briefly removed from the field.
On Monday, MSU said Jak had just a little bruising on his chin and his right hind leg. The Bulldogs are off this weekend and so is he. Fans can expect to see Jak back on the sidelines for the Oct. 13 game against Tennessee.
PETA’s letter to the university is dated Oct. 1, so the decision for Jak to return to the sidelines in future games was made before PETA penned their plea.