North Carolina State University's popular live mascot, Tuffy II, who most notably entertained Wolfpack football fans since 2016 has died, according to a tweet from the school's athletics department.
"It is with deep sadness that we share that Tuffy II passed away in his sleep last night. Our thoughts are with the Downey family, Tuffy II left a lasting impact on the NC State community.
Just days prior, Tuffy II's owner, Joe Downey, started a GoFundMe after the beloved Tamaska – a breed known for its wolf-like appearance – was diagnosed with Canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart disease.
“If we can change some people’s hearts and minds, that’s all that matters.”
Leaders of the Pack: @JadaRice31 (@PackWomensBball)#UNITYWeek x @NCelectriccooppic.twitter.com/ExbyfbEjwW
On Monday, Tuffy II's prognosis appeared to improve after receiving treatment at the N.C. State veterinary school ICU, according to Downey's GoFundMe post.
"Luckily NC State has one of the best Vet schools in the country," posted Downey. "In fact, they already saved Tuffy II's life once when he was diagnosed with a rare parasite when he was just a puppy. Now, they have treated him in their ICU and he is much better thanks to the amazing cardiology team!"
The GoFundMe has raised more than $11,400. Downey's original goal was $10,000.
Tuffy II, brother of the original Tuffy, have been a part of N.C. State athletics since 2010, the first time the school had a live mascot on the sidelines in 50 years.
Follow Edith Noriega on Twitter @Noriega_Edith
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