PETA asks KSU to discontinue live mascot use - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

PETA asks KSU to discontinue live mascot use

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Courtesy of Kennesaw State Athletics Courtesy of Kennesaw State Athletics

PETA is asking Kennesaw State University to stop using their mascot at live sporting events.

The animal rights organization released an "action alert" or complaint requesting that the school discontinue use of their "live owl" mascot, Sturgis, due to the "terrifying and distressing" environment live sports events can be.

In addition, PETA says, "there is no way for the university to guarantee Sturgis' safety at these events" and that other live mascots have been harmed using similar practices.

Kennesaw State Univeristy's Director of Athletics Vaughn William responded to PETA's complaint with a letter saying:

"We are fully aware of the concerns you raise and the potential for harm associated with the use of live animals as university or sports team mascots.I assure you that KSU, and all within the Department of Athletics as well as everyone else at KSU, are fully committed to Sturgis' safety and well-being.

To ensure Sturgis' safety and well-being, KSU engaged an experienced professional trainer and bird handler. Daniel Walthers, Winding Woods Ranch, has over 30 years of professional animal training experience. We could not have found a more committed, qualified, and caring trainer. I have observed Daniel working with Sturgis and other animals and am convinced that he has the same commitment to Sturgis' safety and well-being as he does for the safety and well- being of the other animals with which he works. Re, and we, would never put Sturgis in harm's way."

KSU maintains that they are doing "everything possible" to assure Sturgis' well being is being maintained.

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