N.Y. Groups to Study Effects of Insurers Denying Dog Owners Coverage

A New York organization for dog owners and a marketing firm that caters to the interests of dog owners have teamed up to determine whether more dogs are ending up in shelters and with animal rescue leagues due to homeowners insurance companies’ unwillingness to underwrite homes where certain dogs reside.

Dog Federation Of New York, representing dog clubs across the state, and My Dog Votes, a marketing firm representing the interests of dog owners, say their joint survey will explore the experiences of both publicly and privately funded animal shelters and rescues, and will track the reasons dogs are surrendered by their owners. The survey will also probe the success rate of finding new homes for these dogs, as well the cost to the tax-paying public of such surrenders.

The groups maintain that dog owners of close to 40 different dog breeds in increasing numbers owners are being forced to surrender their pets and companions, loving members of the family, to shelters and rescues with little hope of either reclaiming their dogs or finding a new home for them.

They charge that owners of targeted breeds find it increasingly difficult to obtain the homeowners insurance that their mortgage companies require, or renters’ policies. Dog owners are losing coverage even when the dog has no history of any problem behavior or bite incidents, according to the organizations.

Estimates indicate that over 40 percent of households in New York State include at least one dog, according to the activists.

“New Yorkers are shocked to learn that such unfair practices are legal in this state,” commented DFNY spokesperson Mahlon Goer. “We want people to be able to obtain liability insurance, and law makers agree with us.” New York State Senator Dean Skelos is filing a proposal to make discrimination of this sort illegal.

Sources: www.DogFederationofNewYork.org