Meet Tiger Jake – SEC Media Days’ Newest Star

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HOOVER, Ala.  - If you've been anywhere on social media today, then you've likely seen the latest star from SEC Media Days: Tiger Jake.

The service dog was dyed to look like the mascot for his owner Ron's favorite team, the Auburn Tigers. According to our sources down in Hoover, Tiger Jake gets his hair done every eight weeks.

Tiger Jake has received a lot of love on social media, including from WHNT News 19's own Chris Davis and Taylor Tannebaum, who each posted their meetings with this one-of-a-kind mascot.

There are certainly those who love the look of this "felined" canine and those who don't.

“He just looks too good like this," says Ron Sanford, Tiger Jake's owner.

Count Ron squarely in the fan category. He says his 5-year-old Maltese, Tiger Jake, first got his makeover two years ago.

“My daughter and them just thought about coloring him up at the animal clinic and they took care of it," he says.

Now, the pooch wears the orange and blue even when Coach Malzhan and crew are in the offseason.

“They do it every 8 weeks. He was done 2 days ago, he’ll be done again just before football season," says Sanford.

Ron and Tiger Jake have reached a bit of celebrity status at Media Days, attracting the lenses of both fans and photographers.

“He loves it, he loves the attention. You’ve seen him around here. He doesn’t mind it at all. He’s handled by probably every fan at Auburn every time he comes down there," he says.

Even down on the Plains, he struts his stripes.

“He’s at all the home games, all the football games, softball, baseball. He gets a lot of pictures taken. Everybody at Auburn knows Tiger Jake," says Sanford.

It's not just around tailgates, "TJ" goes inside Jordan-Hare Stadium too.

“He’s a service dog. He can go into the stadium," he says.

Which is what makes Tiger Jake more than just fan's best friend, but this man's best friend.

“I had triple open back surgery and my back is not very good. So, he helps me concentrate so I don’t tilt and fall that much," says Sanford.

Tiger Jake was trained as an ADA service dog right in our own backyard at Redstone Arsenal.

As for the racing stripes, they're technically complimentary from his daughter - a veterinarian - although vet school comes at its cost too.

The hypoallergenic hair dye lasts for eight weeks and has to be replied seven times a year.

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