For Immediate Release:
July 27, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – As record-breaking heat waves rip through the U.S. and veterinarians report an increase in heat-related dog deaths and near misses, PETA is issuing an emergency alert regarding breathing-impaired breeds (BIBs), who, because of their flat faces and small airways, are twice as likely to suffer from heatstroke than other breeds. These dogs—including French bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, boxers, and other brachycephalic breeds—have been bred for a particular look, resulting in drastically shortened airways that make it hard for them to breathe and stay safe in the heat. People often believe their rasping, shortness of breath, and panting are normal, when, in fact, all are signs of distress and can lead to fatalities in hot weather.
Just this month, a French bulldog came close to dying from heatstroke, even though he was sitting in the shade; a bulldog with heatstroke collapsed in public; another died in a greenhouse; and yet another died from the heat at a doggie daycare—and those are just the reported cases. According to a recent veterinary study, BIBs can no longer be classified as “normal dogs” because of their health irregularities. They might be banned in the U.K., restrictions have been imposed on them in Germany, and in Norway, a court ruling established a precedent for the recognition that flat-faced breeds suffer more and should no longer be bred. PETA believes it’s time to save dogs’ lives by banning their sale in the U.S.
“Gasping, labored, open-mouth breathing and shortness of breath are not normal for dogs—and BIBs are at grave risk of harm,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “As temperatures climb, PETA is urging everyone to stop buying or breeding dogs with these horrific, life-threatening deformities and take precautions with any they already have.”
Additional information about heatstroke in dogs is available here. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.