When Mary Grace O’Brien lost her home in a fire, she counted on her home insurance policy to help her get her life back in order. Living with a friend, she and her three kids waited three months before receiving a letter denying her a payout for one reason: Bella, the family’s Pit Bull.
When O’Brien pressed the insurance agency that sold her the policy, she was told her dog was on their list of prohibited dogs, voiding her policy. O’Brien claimed that she had never been asked if she had a dog when she spoke to the broker who sold her the policy, and believed someone had forged her signature.
This case of Breed-Specific Legislation is just one of many that have affected families like O’Brien’s. When I was looking to rent a home in North Carolina, I was told repeatedly that my American Bulldog was on the list of banned breeds for every place I saw. “But it doesn’t specifically say ‘American Bulldog’,” I often countered. “Yes but we just don’t allow Bully breeds, period.” I eventually ended up having to buy a home, and was lucky enough to find a home insurance plan that did not have a clause in it that discriminated against my dog. But many others are not as fortunate.
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