RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Tuffy II, N.C. State’s live mascot, has died following a battle with a heart condition, the school’s athletic department announced Tuesday.
“It is with great sadness that we share that Tuffy II passed away in his sleep last night,” the athletic department said.
On Monday, Tuffy II’s owner, Joe Downey, posted on a GoFundMe account that the mascot had returned home with a new regimen of medicine.
Tuffy II was receiving treatment at the N.C. State School of Veterinary Medicine after being diagnosed with canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
The disease results in a decreased ability of the heart to generate pressure to pump blood through the vascular system, according to N.C. State’s veterinarian school.
The GoFundMe surpassed its goal of raising $10,000 to help pay for Tuffy II’s treatments.
N.C. State announced Tuffy II as the new live mascot in 2016 – taking over for his brother, the original Tuffy.