UConn introduces Siberian husky pup Jonathan XV as the school’s next mascot
Jun 28, 2023, 7:30 AM | Updated: 11:32 am
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — University of Connecticut officials welcomed a new celebrity on Wednesday, and they say he’s a very good boy.
Jonathan XV is a 2-month old Siberian husky who will take over as the official UConn Husky mascot this fall.
The puppy was born in Ontario, Canada, on April 19 as part of a litter of six puppies and arrived on campus on June 17, school spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said. He was presented Wednesday morning to the school’s board of trustees.
The 12-pound (5.4-kilogram) puppy is living with the same host family as UConn’s current mascot, Jonathan XIV, and being trained for his new duties, which include appearing at sporting and other on-campus events and doing social media promotions, Reitz said.
“Jonathan XV is a really fast learner, and he’s adorable,” she said. “He does things like sits when his big brother sits and really looks up to him.”
The two dogs will make joint appearances for the time being, with Jonathan XV taking over the mascot duties when the older dog retires in October, Reitz said.
Jonathan XIV, who was born in Arkansas, is 9 years old. He was introduced as UConn’s mascot in January 2014, and began his duties in August of that year, taking over for a skittish Jonathan XIII, who had difficulty dealing with large crowds.
Jonathan XIV had a medical scare in January when a mass was found on his spleen and doctors removed the organ. That growth was determined to be benign and the dog has recovered, Reitz said.
He traveled to Texas in April and was with the men’s basketball team when they won the NCAA championship.
The school’s mascots are named in honor of Jonathan Trumbull, the last colonial and first state governor of Connecticut, and cared for by the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.
The Husky has been UConn’s mascot since 1933, when it was selected in a poll of students.