Celebrity French bull­dog craze blamed for aban­doned UK pets

The Week - Junior - - Animals And The Environment -

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.

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