Prevent Pet Suffocation Continues to Raise Awareness about Pet Suffocation

WGME CBS 13 Interview Image

WGME CBS 13 Interview Image

Prevent Pet Suffocation Logo

Prevent Pet Suffocation Logo

Prevent Pet Suffocation Safety Infographic

Prevent Pet Suffocation Infographic

Prevent Pet Suffocation and a heartbroken pet owner whose dog suffocated in a chip bag are featured in a WGME CBS 13 I-Team media segment to raise awareness.

That's the biggest problem, said Harlan. Most people have never heard about it.”
— Bonnie Harlan
HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, February 19, 2021 / -- Prevent Pet Suffocation continues its international mission to spread awareness to educate the public on the suffocation risks our pets face from food packaging.

Prevent Pet Suffocation and Emma Pierce of Cumberland County, Maine are both featured in a recent media interview with Marissa Bodnar, an investigative reporter with WGME CBS 13 I-Team in Portland, Maine, after Emma lost her beloved Golden Retriever, Finley, when she suffocated in a chip bag.

Emma was away from her home only 20 minutes when her year and a half old Golden Retriever, Finley, got into a chip bag and suffocated. Emma was devastated. “I walked in the door and I saw her and I just knew, Emma said. “I just knew she was gone, and it’s so sad. So fast you know.” Like so many others, she never knew snack bags could be so deadly. “It sticks with me how much panic she must’ve felt…”, said Emma. She wanted to share her story to educate and spread awareness.

Bonnie Harlan, Founder of Prevent Pet Suffocation, talks with Marissa Bodnar on the perils of pet suffocation and how the issue is just not widely known. “That’s the biggest problem,” said Harlan. “Most people have never heard about it.” The latest Public Service Announcement (PSA) from Prevent Pet Suffocation explains how the mylar-type bags create a vacuum-like seal around the dog’s neck, cutting off the oxygen. “The seal becomes so tight that I’ve had, like, strong guys tell me, ‘I could not break the seal on my dog’s head,’” said Harlan.

To access the media interview, please click here.

Prevent Pet Suffocation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness of the suffocation risks our pets face from chip bags, snack bags, pet food bags, and other food packaging to prevent pet suffocation. Prevent Pet Suffocation was founded in 2012 by Bonnie Harlan, who lost her rescue dog, Blue, when he suffocated in a chip bag in December 2011.

Chip bags and other food packaging pose serious suffocation risks to our pets. Too many pets, especially dogs, have died from suffocating in chip bags, cereal boxes, snack bags, pet treat bag liners, and pet food bags. A lot of these bags are made from a strong mylar-like material (like a balloon) which helps keep snacks fresher. When a curious dog puts his head into the bag looking for leftover crumbs, the bag creates a vacuum-like seal around the dog’s neck. As he tries to breathe, the bag tightens around his neck, cutting off the oxygen. When a dog cannot remove the food bag from his head, he will usually start to panic, desperately running around until he collapses and dies from asphyxiation. This happens within minutes.

We can reduce the number of accidental pet deaths by educating the public on the dangers of these types of bags. Most people do not know that mylar bags are a suffocation hazard to their animals, and they often do not find out until it happens to their pet. Many pet owners have arrived home or walked into another room of the house and found their dog lying motionless with a chip bag or other food bag on his head. The more people are aware of this risk, the more pet owners can do to ensure their pet is safe. Awareness is our best defense against pet suffocation!

Please visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to learn all the safety tips you can use to prevent pet suffocation in your home, car, yard, and community. In addition, if you know someone who has experienced pet suffocation, please have them contact us at Our Facebook Page also serves as a wonderful support group for grieving pet owners.

Bonnie Harlan
Prevent Pet Suffocation, Inc.
+1 844-777-9880

"I just knew she was gone': Chip, snack bags pose deadly danger for your pets