‘Pugs’ Wearing Breathing Apparatus Warned Pune Residents That Flat-Faced Breeds Suffer for Life

As pugs remain one of the most popular dog breeds in India, supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Hope For Paws Foundation in pug costumes and oxygen masks gathered in Pune outside Westside, Fergusson College Road today to warn its citizens that foreign brachycephalic dogs (those with a short skull and flat face), such as pugs, struggle to breathe and can even require surgery for serious respiratory problems – and compassionate people should never buy them.

“Breeders deliberately breed dogs with deformed faces and airways that shorten their lives and cause a multitude of health problems, just to achieve a particular look,” says PETA India Campaigns Coordinator Atharva Deshmukh. “PETA India encourages those with the time, patience, love, and resources to welcome a dog into their home to stop buying dogs with debilitating deformities from breeders and pet stores and instead adopt desi dogs, who are known for their loving nature, from an animal shelter.” 

Pugs, popularised by Vodafone commercials, and other breathing-impaired breeds (BIB) such as French and English bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, boxers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, and shih tzus suffer from an agonising and sometimes fatal condition called brachycephalic syndrome, which causes them to pant, snort, wheeze, and struggle just to breathe. It can make chasing a ball, running, playing, and even going for a walk – the things that make dogs’ lives joyful and fulfilling – difficult.

PETA India has requested that Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, to prohibit the breeding of these animals. In Norway, restrictions have been imposed on breeding flat-faced dogs, and the Netherlands, which has also banned the breeding of certain BIBs, is considering prohibiting ownership of these animals and their use in advertising.

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