PETA to Browns: Let a ‘Pound Dog’ Represent the Dawg Pound

For Immediate Release:
April 21, 2023

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Cleveland, Ohio – In response to the Cleveland Browns’ request for fan submissions for a new dog logo, PETA is sending a letter today to team owner Jimmy Haslam urging him to choose a brown mixed-breed dog from an animal shelter for the design. The group notes that bullmastiffs, such as the current team mascot, Swagger Jr., are a breathing-impaired breed prone to heart murmurs, hip dysplasia, and other painful conditions and that promoting this breed through the logo would contribute to the homeless-dog crisis by encouraging fans to increase the demand to breed more of them while dogs in shelters lose the opportunity to be adopted into a loving home. Featuring a homeless dog could instead inspire fans to save a life by finding their next animal companion at a shelter.

“The Dawg Pound has had a rough time of it, but the 70 million animals who are homeless in the U.S. right now face far worse,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on Jimmy Haslam to score a win for these dogs by promoting adoption and making a dog from a shelter the new face of the franchise.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that there are tens of millions more homeless dogs than available homes and that as a result, countless dogs die on the streets every year after they are hit by cars or succumb to starvation, the elements, disease, injury, or human cruelty. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Haslam follows.

Jimmy Haslam

Owner

Cleveland Browns

Dear Mr. Haslam:

Greetings! I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many thousands in Ohio—after hearing the news that you’re seeking fan submissions for a new dog logo and that fans have recently voted the mastiff as the “Browns Dawg.” Please help homeless dogs score a home by choosing an adopted mixed-breed dog as the team’s logo.

By choosing a “purebred” dog, you’d be encouraging Browns’ fans to buy bullmastiffs, contributing to the homeless dog overpopulation crisis. Animal shelters across the country are overflowing with healthy, friendly dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds, and colors—including brown—who desperately need loving homes. Because there are tens of millions more dogs than there are homes for them, countless homeless dogs die on the streets every year after they have been hit by cars or succumb to starvation, the elements, disease, injury, or human cruelty.

Breeding dogs for certain features can also cause genetic defects, especially in breathing-impaired breeds. Bullmastiffs, such as Swagger Jr., your live mascot, are prone to genetic conditions like heart murmurs, entropion, and hip dysplasia.

Today’s conscientious choice means promoting adoption at the actual “dawg pound,” and we hope you’ll be a true winner for dogs by choosing a logo of an adopted mixed-breed brown dog. We just checked, and there are at least 50 brown dogs available for adoption at local shelters throughout the city, from whom fans could draw inspiration. Thank you for your time and consideration—I look forward to hearing from you. Best of luck this season!

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk

President

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind