Covering Louisiana

Jul 31, 2012 7:44 AM by AP

Hunt on for Louisiana Tech mascot

RUSTON, La. (AP) - There's an all-out dog hunt in effect at Louisiana Tech as students and community members search for the university's beloved mascot.

Tech XX, the 4-year-old English bulldog and face of the university, was last seen Sunday evening by a worker at the animal clinic where he was staying. The animal was let out for a bathroom break around 8 p.m. at the northeast Ruston clinic. When the worker went to let Tech XX back inside, the canine was nowhere to be found.

Dr. Patrick Sexton, the clinic's owner, told The Times (http://bit.ly/QrYLrw ) the dog wasn't outside five minutes before he disappeared. He said it was out of character for the dog to wander off. He says Tech XX is not an "outdoor" dog. Rather, he says, he prefers the comforts of home and air conditioning - unless he's at a sporting event.

Tech XX was named mascot in 2008, replacing Tech XIX, who retired due to health concerns.

Students and community members distributed fliers and worked to spread word of the missing mascot through various social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag (hash)FindTechXX.

"We're trying everything we can to get the word out," said Will Dearmon, Student Government Association president at Louisiana Tech. "As many people as we can get to search for him and bring him home safely, the better."

Dearmon said Tech XX isn't just a dog to the Ruston community and Tech family.

"He's not just a regular bulldog," Dearmon said. "He embodies the legacy of the bulldog, the history of the university . he's an emblem of everything great about Tech."

Sexton is offering a $1,000 reward for the dog's safe return.

"There's a void without him around," Sexton said.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Tech XX is asked to call Sexton Animal Health Clinic at (318) 251-8283.

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