By Sloane Quealy-Miner
Every day in shelters across our country, countless dogs suffer and die as a result of being unjustly judged by their looks alone. These innocent animals are publicly demonized and condemned for the bad acts of a few; they are stereotyped as “vicious”, “killers”, and “dangerous” based on a very loose appearance-based definition of breed, not their individual behavior.
Homeowner insurance companies that write breed specific policies and the property management companies who purchase these policies are directly responsible for the deaths of many of these dogs. Their policies make it impossible for a huge percentage of the public to adopt these animals.
The list of dog breeds that may prevent an individual from securing homeowner’s insurance or from renting a home from a management company that holds one of the breed specific policies are:
American pit bull terrier
Staffordshire bull terrier
Wolfdogs, also known as wolf hybrids.
Lists of restricted or “dangerous” dogs also include dogs that are mixed with any of the aforementioned breeds.
Insurance companies should determine coverage based on the deed, not on the breed. If a dog is a well adjusted member of the household and community, there should be no reason to deny or cancel coverage.
I have called numerous insurance companies and the only one that I found that will cover all dog breeds in their policies is State Farm Insurance.
Call to Action
Fight insurance discrimination against dog owners and contact your state senator or representative and urge them to introduce a bill that will address the practices of many breedist insurance companies. Six states including New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Illinois, South Carolina and Vermont have bills pertaining to homeowner insurance issues pending. If there is a bill already introduced in your state please convey your support of the proposed bill.
Also, contact your state insurance Commissioner expressing opposition to discrimination based on breed.
Breedism is the canine equivalent to racism and it must be stopped. Who will be next on their hit list!