Animal lovers celebrate a new law passed by the New York State Legislature. As the Union Times reports, home insurance providers can no longer deny pet owners coverage based on their dog’s breed.
Previously, insurance companies had the right to deny owners coverage if they felt their dogs were predisposed to be aggressive. Pit bulls are common targets of these policies, in addition to German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers. Insurers were also allowed to increase premiums based on the type of dog their customers owned under the old law.
Animal rights advocates have long called for the practice to be banned because lists of so-called dangerous breeds used by insurance companies may be based on harmful stereotypes. Aggressive dogs are often products of their environment, and focusing on genetics alone oversimplifies a complicated problem.
In addition to punishing pet owners, breed-specific bans can indirectly lead to the euthanasia of hard-to-adopt dogs. Pit bulls make up a significant portion of all shelter dogs, and laws and policies targeting the breed discourage pet owners from adopting them.
Thanks to legislation signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in October 2021, New York pet owners no longer have to worry about which breed of dog they choose affecting their homeowners insurance. But dogs of certain breeds are still stigmatized in other parts of the country. In some parts of Florida, pit bulls are banned altogether. Here are more facts about American pit bulls that you should know.