Lilly is a special case. She's one of the few live mascots who has been tracked by animal rescuers since she was young - from the facility that raised her to the high school that exploited her and back to a breeding facility again.
While many used-up mascots disappear after a short career in the spotlight, Lilly has left enough of a trail for Tammy Thies, founder of Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota, to follow.
"She's probably the first animal we've followed since she was 6 months old," Thies tells The Dodo. "Just about her entire life."
Her story reads like the bleakest biography.
"We don't know when Lilly was born or where," Thies said. "All we know is that she was less than a year old, an obvious tiger cub, when we were first contacted that she was to be used as one of the Obie cubs by Massillon's high school."
After the 2015-2016 football season ended, Lilly went back to Stump Hill Farm, the nearby facility that had lent her to the school. There she spent day after day in a tiny cage, flanked by an adult lion on one side and an adult tiger on the other side.
Stump Hill Farm, which is located in Ohio, bills itself as "an exotic animal rescue." But Thies sees it as more breeding facility than rescue.