More BS Discriminations

We’re not done yet with these breed-specific discrimination. From living to traveling, it’s not easy to be a “mean” breed lover. On a personal note: The BS is for “Breed-Specific” but it does feel like the other BS. You’ll understand once you read the restrictions below.

Homeowners Insurance

Content courtesy of Pet News & Reviews

Some insurance company will not extend coverage to a homeowner that owns an aggressive breed of dog. Usually they define the breeds in their underwriting guidelines and most likely, it includes Pit Bulls. The insurance company will cancel coverage at the renewal date (as opposed to the middle of the year) if you acquire an aggressive breed of dog and they find out.

One woman in New Jersey wrote that when she talked to her insurance agent, she was told that if she gets a Pit Bull, German Shepherd, Husky, Chow, Akita, Doberman, Rottweiler, or a mix with any of the above, she forfeits her coverage and no one else will cover her.

How is it fair? The shelters are full of Pit Bull mixes, but no one can adopt them and keep the insurance for their homes. Where will they live? Wouldn’t restrictions like these will keep the shelters full and more innocent “mean breed” dogs to be put down? They don’t care if it’s a puppy or an older dog who deserves to die in a comfort of a home, not to be put down on a cold metal slab.

So what do you do? Shop around. Some insurance companies will ask if your dog has acted aggressively or has ever bitten someone, regardless of the breed. Of course if the answer is yes, they will decline the application. Hopefully the answer is no because your dog is an awesome, well-behaved companion.

Apartment Ban

If you have a pit bull and looking for an apartment, it is very likely that you’ll face a tough challenge. Type “apartment restrictions pit bull” in your search engine, and you’ll get more than 2 millions results, from Seattle to Austin to DC. No bull. (No pun intended.)

Pet parents of these “mean” breeds have gone the route of being creative about their dog breeds just to keep their dog and stay in their apartment complex. However, what happens if your landlord or apartment manager strolls down and sees your “terrier mix” and decided it’s a pit bull? They have no problem kicking you out.

It happened to me. When I wanted to get my Rottweiler 15 years ago, I asked one of the owners of the building and he said no problem. Two months later, the other owner saw me playing with my puppy Guinness in the courtyard and he basically freaked out and told me that it had to go. It was a 4-month old puppy! He didn’t care and he said that it’d get big and it would destroy the apartment. He gave me one week to “get rid off it.”

I was frantic. Thankfully, I was introduced to a Rottweiler trainer from a respectable kennel and she agreed to board and train Guinness. He was saved, staying at a lovely family kennel and we were reunited a few months later after I moved to a dog-friendly apartment complex a few miles away. But I understand how helpless you’d feel if this happens to you.

So please research your living situation thoroughly before you get one of these misunderstood breeds. There are nice places that will let you keep a Pit Bull, Rottweiler or other “mean” dogs. You just have to show that you are a loving, responsible pet parent and make people understand these breeds by having a well-behaved dog and change the public’s view in the end.

Air Carrier Restrictions

Yup, you can’t fly your “vicious” dogs. The airlines don’t want them. Even if you’re to ship them to expecting parents to save them from certain death at shelters.

What’s shocking: I just found out that Delta Airlines has ruled that bulldogs can no longer travel on any Delta or Delta Connections flights. (Thanks to Tamar Love Grande from Pets Advisor for finding & sharing this.)

It says the restriction is due to the breed’s brachycephalic nature, which is understandable until I scroll down and look at the long list of dog breeds. Wait a second: American Pit Bull Terrier is not a brachycephalic breed. And as far as their health concern, I’ve shipped my English Bulldog from New York to Indonesia, and she was fine. American Airlines is also notoriously keen on banning certain dog breeds.

Here are some links to pet air travel from major carriers:

I’m not sure whether JetBlue, US Airlines and others not listed here don’t have a breed-specific restrictions. Just because I can’t find it, doesn’t mean that they don’t practice it. So, always check with the airlines themselves just to be thorough; there may be additional restrictions. For example, on top of their “mean” breed restrictions, Continental Airlines has a summer restrictions for a short list of brachycephalic dogs from June 1 to September 30, unless they’re traveling in the cabin with you.

Pet Airways requires Advance Arrangements for dogs with “past aggressive behavior” in their Contract of Carriage. They explained that they do not restrict but do take precautions for safety of the staff and other pet travelers. (I have no clue what they do in these Advance Arrangements, so if you have any experience with this, please share.)

So as a good pet parent, always be prepared: Plan in advanced, check with your vet, and triple-check everything (I like written agreements that I can wave in front of the airline staff if there’s any problem).

You don’t want to go to the airport with your dog all ready to fly and be left, literally, at the gate. Trust me. It happened to me with 2 dogs in tow!