According to Dr. Patrick Sexton, who has cared for the dog since 2008, an employee let the dog out to relieve himself and failed to let him back in. By the time the employee remembered to check on Tech XX, the dog had died of heat stroke.
The temperature in Ruston, La., on Sunday reached a high of 102 degrees.
The Louisiana Tech athletic department spoke to the incident on its Facebook page.
Early Wednesday afternoon, Louisiana Tech University learned of the passing of Tech XX through the following communication from Dr. Patrick Sexton.
Regretfully, I learned this morning that through negligence of an employee, Tech XX was left outside too long on Sunday evening and passed away from a heat stroke. That employee unfortunately chose to handle it the wrong way and attempted to cover it up. Due to this negligence, the employee is no longer employed by Sexton Animal Health Center.
My family, my staff and I are extremely upset at this tragic turn of events as I know the entire Louisiana Tech Family is as well. Tech XX was a member of our immediate family and a daily part of our lives for the past four years. We are devastated over the circumstances of his passing and there will be a large void in our hearts for some time to come. As with any family member, we will spend considerable time grieving his passing.
Patrick R. Sexton, DVM
According to bulldogsworld.com, Bulldogs are especially susceptible to heat stroke - even in 75-80-degree weather - because of their shorter breathing systems.
This is a sad and unthinkable end to what many assumed was a possible dognapping. Sexton even issued a $1,000 reward that was bumped up to $2,000 when he feared the dog might have been taken.
Louisiana Tech issued a statement saying it was saddened by the news, but that it didn't hold Sexton responsible for his employee's actions.
"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 was a cherished member of the Louisiana Tech Family and, together, we will all grieve his passing."
In case you're wondering, the employee was fired as soon as the truth came to light.
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