Prevent Pet Suffocation Raises More Awareness about Pet Suffocation

Puppy suffocates in chip bag

WTAE-TV Pittsburgh Interview Image

Prevent Pet Suffocation Logo

Prevent Pet Suffocation Logo

Prevent Pet Suffocation and a family whose dog suffocated in a chip bag are featured in ABC's affiliate WTAE-TV Pittsburgh Action News 4 to raise awareness.

Over and over again, people say to me 'I've never heard of this,' said Harlan. They had no idea until it happened to their pet.”
— Bonnie Harlan
HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, February 25, 2022 / -- 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 Holly and Brian Best and their children, formerly of Pittsburgh, are featured in a recent media interview with Janelle Hall, an investigative reporter with WTAE-TV Pittsburgh, after the Best family lost their beloved Chocolate Labrador puppy, Scout, when he suffocated in a chip bag.

The Best family had already gone to sleep on New Year's Eve when Scout, only 9 months old, got into a potato chip bag that was left out and suffocated. Brian woke up New Year's Day to find Scout with the chip bag fully covering his head. "He was laying on the ground motionless," Best said. "He's stuck in a potato chip bag." The family was devastated as Scout had been perfectly fine when they went to bed. Like so many others, the Best family never knew snack bags could be so deadly. “I was more concerned with him choking on a dog treat or a chew bone but not in a million years did I think a chip bag," Holly Best said. Sad, angry, and desperate for answers, Holly went online and found the non-profit, Prevent Pet Suffocation. The Best family wanted to share their story to educate and spread awareness about pet suffocation in memory of Scout.

Bonnie Harlan, Founder of Prevent Pet Suffocation, also talks with Janelle Hall on the perils of pet suffocation and how the issue is just not widely known, even with many veterinarians. “Over and over again, people say to me 'I've never heard of this,' said Harlan, "They had no idea until it happened to their pet." The latest Public Service Announcement (PSA) from Prevent Pet Suffocation, posted on their website, explains how the mylar-type bags create a vacuum-like seal around the dog’s neck, cutting off the oxygen. “It creates a vacuum-like seal around their neck and as they continue to try to breathe, the vacuum-like seal gets tighter.", 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
email us here
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Pittsburgh family spreading awareness after beloved dog dies of suffocation from chip bag