LA Tech mascot dead of heat stroke
Veterinarian employee admits to leaving dog outside for too long
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 6:56pm
Ruston, La — Lousiana Tech's mascot, a bulldog named Tech XX, is dead, after a city-wide search that lasted for days. School officials confirm the 4-year-old English bulldog died at Sexton Animal Health Clinic in Ruston on Sunday evening, after a veterinarian's employee left the dog outside for too long. Dr. Patrick Sexton, Tech XX's caregiver and owner of the clinic, says the dog died of an apparent heat stroke.
According to Dr. Sexton, the employee covered up the bulldog's death for several days. In the meantime, a reward for his safe return climbed to $2,000, and dozens of students and alums took to social media to plea for information about his whereabouts. On Tuesday, clinic wokers said they believed someone had stolen Tech XX while he was outside in a fenced area. Dr. Sexton says the employee has been fired. There's no word on whether he will face criminal charges.
In reponse to the news, Louisiana Tech released this statement.
"Louisiana Tech University was saddened to learn of Tech XX's passing this past Sunday evening. He will be remembered for being a fan favorite and a symbol of the spirit of Louisiana Tech. Since becoming our official mascot in 2008, Tech XX received superior care and a loving home from Dr. Patrick Sexton and, despite the unfortunate circumstances of the past few days, we are grateful for all he and his family have done for our beloved mascot."
Tech XX had served as the mascot since 2008. Student Government representatives, who are responsible for the mascot, say there are no immediate plans to replace him.