More and more airlines are banning flat-faced breeds of dogs and cats for the animals’ safety. Snub-nosed dogs—think pugs, bulldogs, and boxers—and certain exotic cats face full or partial bans on American, Delta, United, Continental, and most recently, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific airlines, CNN reports. These breeds are prone to breathing problems and overheating on planes, accounting for half of in-flight canine deaths from 2005 to 2010.
English bulldogs fared the worse, with 25 of 108 deaths for known breeds, according to US statistics. Hong Kong's SPCA says it understands Cathay Pacific's rationale for the new ban, but think it's too extreme. "There are cases when air travel is unavoidable, especially when owners need to emigrate,” says a spokeswoman. “If owners cannot send them in the cabin they may have to abandon them or put them to sleep.”