JoAnna Lou
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Dangerous Snack Bags
Penn. pup suffocates from a potato chip bag
The liner bags in boxed snacks can also pose a danger to pets.

It’s well known that plastic bags pose a suffocation risk for both children and pets. Most packaging carries a warning as a reminder. However, I never considered that snack bags could also be dangerous. 

Last month a Pennsylvania family came home to a heartbreaking scene. The Elwoods knew something was wrong when their 4-year old Pit Bull didn’t greet them at the door. Amid trash scattered around the house, they found Lucy with her head stuck in a potato chip bag she stole from the garbage can.

CPR was attempted, but sadly the poor pup had already suffocated. The Elwood family has now made it their mission to prevent this tragedy from happening again. The fliers they created advise people to either cut out the bottom of bags or tear them open completely before throwing them away. The Elwoods also contacted the Frito Lay company about adding a warning label to snack bags.

My dog, Nemo, is a perennial garbage raider, so I’ve always had to be careful about his access to trash cans. Considering Nemo’s habit, I’ll definitely be cutting any bags that I throw out. It’s a good safety measure in addition to keeping garbage cans out of reach.

Please spread the word in Lucy’s memory.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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