25 signatures reached
To: Insurance Companies
Tell insurance companies to stop discriminating against dog breeds
We want the state of Illinois to prohibit breed-discriminatory homeowners insurance restrictions for pet dogs and to stop state-subsidized housing from banning pets based on their breed or size. Refusing to cover, canceling or charging higher premiums for entire breeds of dogs is an outdated approach. Prohibiting pets from housing because of their breed or size separates families. These practices lead to more dogs in our shelters and waste taxpayer dollars.
Why is this important?
Breed labels are often applied without actual knowledge of a dog’s specific breed. The science shows that breed is not a factor in bites.
The focus should be on the behavior of the dog and the behavior of the owner. Breed restrictions prevent responsible dog owners from acquiring adequate homeowners/renters insurance or require them to give up their dogs before moving into state-subsidized housing.
Plus, breed restrictions prevent well-mannered dogs from being adopted and infringe on a family’s right to choose the best dog for them. And breed lists can also have an impact on people of color, which calls into question whether insurance consumers are treated fairly and equitably.
And the research backs this up:
* Researchers at Tufts University concluded that factors associated with actions of the owner – like the absence of an able-bodied person to intervene – are the primary cause of dog bite-related fatalities while the breed is not a factor. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24299544
* A recent study asked 16 animal shelter workers to guess the breed of 120 dogs. While the shelter staff collectively identified 52% of the dogs as pit bull-type dogs, DNA tests proved that only 21% had any pit bull mix in them. Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109002331500310X
* A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior compared aggression between banned dog breeds and a control group of golden retrievers using temperament tests. Comparing the results of golden retrievers and breeds affected by breed discriminatory legislation, no significant difference was found. The researchers concluded that “A scientific basis for breed-specific lists does not exist.” Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S155878780700264X