Friday, October 10, 2008

Believe It.

Your home insurance policy has a breed restriction list. Your renter's insurance has a list. Your condo has an HOA and they have a list. Your apartment complex has a list. Even if "everyone has a dog" the list exists. Even if they "told you that you could have a dog" there is a list." And this list can come back to bite you in the butt. Sure, pit bulls are on there, but so is everything else.

An adopter handed me this list the other day and told me it wasn't exhaustive, but that this was a sample. I have such a hard time convincing people of this- that breed paranoia, especially for large dogs, exists- but it's real. When bringing home a dog, it's paramount to *do your research first.* Get permission to have your dog in writing. Check with your insurance agent *first* and bring home the dog second. It's not worth losing your insurance or your new dog.

Secondly, and more selfishly, don't think that pit bulls are the only "bad" dogs out there. Or, that they're bad at all. Breed specific legislation does not work. All dogs bite, all dogs get bad reputations, and targeting individual breeds (as you see on this list) is ridonkulous. What do pit bulls, greyhounds, and bassets have in common? Well, almost nothing except that you can't live in a house owned by this company with one of them. And they usually have four legs and a tail. It's important to look at the human with the dog, and the actions that happen, not the breed of dog. Or we'll end up with draconion lists like this one, and I'm not sure what dogs we'll have left.


Brooklyn Avenue said...

WTF? Ridonkulous is right.

What I don't understand is why this nonsense continues when such a large percentage of Americans have dogs -- and not all of them are golden retrievers. Sure, there are aggressive dogs and irresponsible dog owners, but in a culture where so many people have dogs, why would property owners be so determined to reduce the pool of prospective tenants? I can see wanting to meet and approve dogs, but banning all these breeds automatically? Crazy. If I'm ever a landlord, I may institute a "dog owners only" policy to counter this silliness.

Also, except in the rare cases when a dog is aggressive or dangerous, I think having dogs in an apartment building or on a block actually improves the neighborhood, because people tend to be out on the streets more walking their dogs, muggers and burglars are more likely to steer clear if they face the possibility of encountering a dog, and neighbors with dogs tend to get to know each other, which fosters community.

But I guess I'm biased, since I have a dog myself.

Mary said...

I love brooklyn avenue's idea of a dog only community! That area would be 100% burglar free!

That list made me frown. Blame owners not dogs. :-(

Katie said...

Wow. Remind me to watch out for all those vicious Salukis. I have to admit, that's the first time I've seen them on a restricted list.

My insurance company will not cover dogs with bite histories or dogs with protection training. Beyond that, they don't care about breed, which is A Good Thing given my propensity for OMG TEH VICIOUS pit bulls.

emilysilversage said...

oh, the famous "Burmese mountain dog" is notoriously vicious, too.

That card verges on parody. Sadly, it seems not be be.