POSTED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 5:35pm
RUSTON, LA (WDSU) — The mascot of Louisiana Tech -- reported missing earlier this week -- died after being left outside on a hot July day, officials said on Wednesday.
There was an all-out dog hunt in effect at Louisiana Tech as students and community members search for the university's beloved mascot.
In a statement, a veterinarian with Sexton Animal Health Center, where the dog was housed, said he recently learned that "Tech XX," passed away from heat stroke. An employee who had been caring for the prized bulldog allegedly covered up the accidental death and has been fired.
"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," said veterinarian Patrick Sexton. "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."
Earlier in the week, Sexton said Tech XX disappeared after being left outdoors for a short period of time on Sunday evening. Officials believed he was taken from the property.
A reward of $2,000 was offered for his safe return.
The four-year-old canine had been the school's mascot since 2008.
“Louisiana Tech University was saddened to learn of Tech XX’s passing this past Sunday evening," school officials said in a statement. "He will be remembered for being a fan favorite and a symbol of the spirit of Louisiana Tech."
In its release, the school praised the clinic for the care it has offered over the years.