Behind-The-Scenes Westminster Video: Breeder Reveals Trendy Dogs’ Death Toll

PETA Pulls Back the Curtain on Dark Side of Breeding: Deformities, Brain Damage, and More in Dogs Like Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs

For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

New York – In video footage recorded by PETA at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this week, a breeder describes the death toll for puppies of specially bred and now popular large-headed, squashed-faced little dogs like Boston terriers and French bulldogs. She reports that “two or three survivors” in a litter is “nice,” that some puppies are born brain-damaged or deformed—one puppy’s intestines hung outside of his body—and that it’s kinder to “just put them to sleep.” She also describes how dogs like Boston terriers must give birth via cesarean section because the puppies’ heads are too large and the mothers’ birth canals are too small for these designer dogs to give birth naturally.

“Take it straight from the horse’s mouth: Problems with purebreds are severe, life threatening, and epidemic,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “This is why PETA urges people to steer clear of dog pageants, breeders, and pet stores and to help stamp out suffering by adopting lovable mutts from animal shelters.”

PETA notes that puppy mills, brokers, auctioneers, and pet-store owners all cash in on the demand for purebred puppies, who are bred en masse after a Best in Show win. Twenty-five percent of dogs in shelters are purebred, and more than 5,000 homeless German shepherds and 4,000 homeless beagles are currently listed on, following those breeds’ recent wins at Westminster. More than 6 million dogs and cats end up at animal shelters every year, and half of them must be euthanized, many because there aren’t enough good homes for them.

PETA also held a protest at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, during which animal advocates highlighted how breeding dogs for a certain appearance causes painful and life-threatening congenital defects, such as brachycephalic syndrome (in pugs), hip dysplasia (in German shepherds), and glaucoma (in beagles).

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. Broadcast-quality footage is available. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind