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Neighbors of Kane County

The bulldogs are back

Nov 01, 2017 08:30AM ● By Ben Scott

Dewey, the Library bulldog.

The bulldog belongs to Batavia. It is not necessary to play a sport, have children in school sports, or even have children in Batavia schools to have an affinity for the bulldog mascot.

The bulldog is forever linked to all of Batavia since the summer of 2011, when 30 beautifully painted, fiberglass bulldogs decorated downtown as both a community art project and a fundraiser for the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence, the Batavia Parks Foundation, and the Batavia Public Library Foundation.

Now, the bulldogs are coming back. Bulldogs Unleashed 2018 is currently seeking individuals and businesses to sponsor a new litter of 30 fiberglass bulldogs, which will be on display in downtown Batavia next summer. Artists are being sought to submit designs for the new bulldogs. Sponsors will have the opportunity to select an artist for their dogs based on the artists’ designs.

Painted bulldogs will be unveiled to the public and unleashed on downtown streets in late May 2018. After a summer of attention in downtown, the bulldogs will be auctioned at a gala next September. Auction proceeds will be divided among the three foundations.

The first Bulldogs Unleashed was a huge success. Batavians and visitors enjoyed walking through downtown Batavia looking for the bulldogs, taking photographs, and picking their favorites.

“People had a great deal of fun with the bulldogs last time around,” said Dee James, president of the Batavia Public Library Foundation. “We hope to have even more people interested in sponsorships, submitting artwork and ideas, and attending the auction next fall.

“This joint fundraiser offers several opportunities for people to contribute,” explained James. “If sponsoring or purchasing a bulldog is not within your price range, purchasing smaller items like a bulldog puppy, note cards, and tee shirts also supports the foundations.”

With the proceeds from Bulldogs Unleashed 2011, the Library foundation purchased two mobile phone / tablet charging stations for patron use and specialized bookkeeping software, and contributed to an improved audio/visual system for the Library’s Founders Room. The Foundation also continues to sponsor three babysitting clinics, twelve Sundays on Stage programs, and four New Lyceum Lecture Series events every year—all of which are very popular.

For more information about the Batavia Public Library Foundation, please visit > Get Involved.

For more information about sponsoring or purchasing (limited number) a bulldog, or to download an artist’s application, please visit