‘Pugs’ on Oxygen to Warn Dog Show Attendees That Flat-Faced Breeds Suffer for Life

For Immediate Release:
May 5, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Flushing, N.Y. – Everyone who attends this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be greeted by a pack of “dogs” who aren’t part of the competition: Due to the uproar over health problems caused by breeding flat-faced dogs, PETA supporters in pug masks and carrying oxygen tanks will be there, holding signs declaring, “Breathing-Impaired Breeds Suffer for Life.” The action will draw attention to the multitude of health problems that pugs, boxers, and English and French bulldogs, among others, endure due to their deliberately distorted and restricted airways, which shorten their lives and cause them to pant, snort, wheeze, and struggle just to breathe—all in order to achieve a particular look. Breeding them also exacerbates the homeless companion animal crisis, which sees around 70 million animals homeless in the U.S. at any given time.

When:    Tuesday, May 9, 12 noon

Where:    USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, at the intersection of Meridian and Shea roads, Flushing

“The AKC encourages people to breed and buy dogs who can barely breathe, knowing full well that most of them endure a lifetime of discomfort, many of them die prematurely, and millions of dogs—including “purebreds”—are homeless,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges everyone who truly cares about animals to reject this ugly ‘beauty pageant’ for dogs and support their local animal shelter.”

A number of countries—including Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway—have banned or restricted the breeding of some or all breathing-impaired breeds.

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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