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Group Pushing for Charges After Tech XX Succumbs to Heatstroke While Left Outside in 102-Degree Weather
For Immediate Release:August 14, 2012
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
Ruston, LA -- PETA has sent a letter to Chief Steve Rogers of the Ruston
Police Department thanking him for launching a criminal investigation into the
death by heatstroke of Tech XX, the bulldog mascot of Louisiana Tech
University. According to news reports, on July 29, Tech was left outside by an
employee of the Sexton Animal Health Center in summer temperatures that
exceeded 100 degrees. The employee—who tried to cover up the incident by
claiming that Tech XX had escaped from the clinic and was missing—has been
terminated. In its letter, PETA points out that the circumstances of Tech XX's
death indicate a direct violation of Louisiana law.
"Death from heatstroke is agonizing, and Tech XX surely
suffered before he died," says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty
Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. "We commend the Ruston police for
giving this incident the serious attention that it deserves, and we hope
charges are filed against the person who left Tech XX outside in the blistering
heat and anyone else who might share responsibility for Tech's death."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Ruston Police Chief Steve Rogers
August 14, 2012
Steve RogersChief of PoliceRuston Police Department401 N. TrentonRuston, LA 71270
Dear Chief Rogers:
We hope this letter finds you
well. I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 3
million members and supporters globally, including our many members in
Louisiana, to thank you for initiating a criminal investigation into the recent
death of Tech XX, Louisiana Tech's 4-year old English bulldog mascot.
Our office has been flooded with calls from people outraged by reports that
Tech XX died from heatstroke on July 29 after a Sexton Animal Health Center
employee left the dog outdoors in 100-degree temperatures.
Death by heatstroke is
agonizing—animal victims are essentially cooked from the inside out. Heatstroke
symptoms in dogs begin with heavy panting and difficulty breathing followed by
vomiting. As the condition progresses, dogs become increasingly unsteady and
pass bloody diarrhea. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray
and collapse. Seizures, coma, and death follow. While high temperatures can be
deadly for any animal, bulldogs are especially susceptible because of their
shortened air passages, which make it harder for them to breathe and cool themselves.
(Dogs do not sweat—their only means of reducing body heat is through panting.)
This is basic knowledge when it comes to bulldog care.
According to a published
statement by the owner of Sexton Animal Health Center, veterinarian Patrick
Sexton, Tech XX died from heatstroke when, "through the negligence of an
employee, Tech XX was left outside too long." After learning that the
employee had negligently caused the dog's death and had attempted to cover it
up, Dr. Sexton terminated the person's employment. As you know, Louisiana's
anti-cruelty statute, La. Rev. Stat. § 14:102.1, prohibits "mistreat[ing] any living animal by
any act or omission whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain,
suffering or death is caused to or permitted upon the animal." It is our
hope that the person responsible for Tech XX's suffering and death will be
Thank you for the difficult
work that you do. May we hear from you soon?
Emergency Response Team
Cruelty Investigations Department
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.