For Immediate Release:
January 4, 2023
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Chantilly, Va. – New undercover PETA video footage shows an employee of pricey Virginia pet store My Next Puppy admitting a shocking industry secret—no lifetime warranties are available for $15,000 English bulldogs and other dogs bred to have squashed, flat faces because they will inevitably have health problems, some fatal.
Sourcing from out-of-state puppy mills, My Next Puppy, like most pet shops, sells dogs who are brachycephalic, meaning they have tiny, restricted airways that cause them to struggle to breathe—a leading cause of their deaths. The employee confides in PETA’s investigator, “It’s not an ‘if.’ It’s more of a ‘when’ and ‘how often’ are they gonna have problems with the sinuses,” admitting that people “don’t understand” that breathing-impaired breeds (BIB) like French bulldogs, English bulldogs, and pugs must be artificially inseminated (because the males’ short legs and narrow hips make mating almost impossible) and delivered via cesarean section (because the females’ hips are too narrow for the puppies’ heads to fit through the birth canal).
The industry insider goes on to admit what few pet shops will reveal about the health problems these flat-faced breeds are prone to, what’s behind their hefty price tag, and the reasons for the exorbitant veterinary bills faced by people who naively acquire these breeds. Even for someone who can afford sky-high vet bills, the outcome of buying a BIB is often heartbreak. New research into the life expectancy of dog breeds reveals that four BIBs (French bulldogs, American bulldogs, English bulldogs, and pugs) “showed the shortest life expectancy,” with an average of just 4.5 years for French bulldogs.
“Breeding dogs to have deformities often prevents them from running, playing, chasing a ball, and just enjoying a normal dog’s life,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA encourages everyone to shun breeders’ recklessness and adopt a mixed breed from a shelter instead.”
Outside the U.S., including in Europe, breeding BIBs is referred to as “torture breeding.” Restrictions have been imposed on flat-faced breeds in Germany, a court ruling in Norway established a precedent for the recognition that they suffer more than other dogs and should no longer be bred, and a movement in the U.K. would ban the breeding of BIBs.
Around 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. Many animal shelters—under pressure to avoid euthanasia at all costs—are turning dogs away when the facilities inevitably reach capacity, leaving the most vulnerable animals with nowhere to go. Those who reproduce make the companion animal overpopulation crisis worse. That’s why PETA asks everyone to adopt instead of buying from breeders or pet stores and advises guardians to have their animal companions spayed or neutered.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.