NEW YORK—As evidence mounts linking unregulated usage of the prescription medication to a variety of degenerative health issues, sources confirmed Sunday that Puppy Bowl XI is being increasingly overshadowed by the league’s rampant heartworm pill abuse. “The debilitating long-term effects of heartworm pills on puppies who abused them in their playing days are unfortunately only beginning to be understood,” said Slate editor Anthony Isaacson, adding that the intense buildup for this year’s Puppy Bowl falls against the backdrop of 14-week-old star labrador Bailey having been recently rushed to an animal hospital after being discovered in his dog bed severely vomiting and suffering convulsions from an apparent overdose of Heartgard Plus. “Puppies are often supplied heartworm pills by team veterinarians without any regard to the potential future health hazards down the road when they are 4 or 5 years old. Puppy football may be the country’s most adorable sport, but people must realize that it can be an ugly one as well.” Reached for comment, Animal Planet representatives refused to respond to allegations of widespread heartworm pill use, only stating that Puppy Bowl XI is “poised to be one of the cutest Puppy Bowls of all time.”

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