Celebrity French bulldog craze blamed for abandoned UK pets
In the UK, around 8.5 million dogs are kept as pets. One breed, the French bulldog, recently made headlines after a vet at a well known animal-rescue centre blamed celebrities for the increase in French bulldogs being brought into the centre.
Shaun Opperman, who is head vet at London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, believes that a celebrity craze for French bulldogs has caused more people to buy the breed – otherwise known as Frenchies. “A French bulldog is like if Disney drew a cartoon puppy; giant eyes, squashed-up babyish faces, snuffly and waddling,” he said. Opperman explained that people see their favourite celebrities on social media with Frenchies, and decide to get one of the dogs because they are fashionable. The likes of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and TV presenter Holly Willoughby are all known to own Frenchies. However, not everyone can afford to keep them.
It has been revealed that from January to August this year, 29 French bulldogs have been given in to Battersea. This is compared with 11 Frenchies last year, and just seven the year before that. French bulldogs commonly experience serious health issues when it comes to their breathing. Owners will often bring their pet Frenchies to the centre because they are unable or unwilling to pay the vet bills.
Lady Gaga has a French bulldog.