PETA has been fairly vocal over the years when it comes to live sports mascots (the Seahawks, Broncos and Ravens each employ live animals as hype machines as well). "Nothing says “Go, team!” less than an unhappy animal," the organization writes. "[T]here’s no reason to subject a real animal to the stress of being a mascot. Costumed human mascots can lead cheers, react to the crowd, and pump up the team—all things that a frightened animal cannot do."
A fruitful point to ponder, no doubt.
Here's Kevin Griffin, vice president of fan experience and marketing for the Browns, talking with 92.3 The Fan: "We're gonna have a new dog, a live dog lead the team out. We're going all in with this Dawg Pound thing."
And, in truth, this is the same office that rolled out WEINER DOG RACES last year.