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Maine: Take a Stand Against Discrimination and Support L.D. 1192

I live in Maine and right now we have the chance to put an end to insurance discrimination based on a dog’s breed or breed mix. Will you help?

I’m asking all of my Maine dog-loving friends to take a moment to reach out and voice your support for this bill. If you own a pit bull, Doberman, German Shepherd, Rottie, Mastiff, Great Dane, Chow, Akita, or any other dog that’s been denied coverage, now’s your chance to stand up for the fair treatment of your dogs.

If you do not own a dog that’s been targeted, I hope that you will stand up for our families. We’re your friends and neighbors and we’re being unfairly discriminated against. Stand up for the dogs that are in our shelter system simply because their families couldn’t find an insurance company that would treat them fairly. There are so many dogs in our shelters that are safe, loved family dogs, but are homeless because families are forced to surrender them due to housing discrimination (largely due to insurance discrimination). Stand up for every dog that has been unfairly discriminated against because of the way they look, NOT based on their actual behavior or the behavior of their owners.

I’ve written about insurance discrimination before. It’s a serious issue for many responsible, dog-owning families.

Maine has the opportunity to become on the most fair, progressive states in the country when it comes to animals – help us get there!

Please support L.D. 1192- An Act Prohibiting Property Insurance Discrimination Based on Breed of Dog 
http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP083601.asp

This bill prohibits the refusal to issue or the cancellation or nonrenewal of a property insurance policy or an increase in the premium for the policy solely on the basis of a policyholder’s ownership of a certain breed of dog. The restrictions do not apply if a dog has been designated as a dangerous dog in accordance with state law.

Please support this bill by attending the public hearing on Thursday, April 25, 2013 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 220 

If you cannot attend – please submit written testimony to the committee members:
http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jt_com/ifs.htm

Mailing Address: Committee on Insurance and Financial Services
c/o Legislative Information
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

Here’s what I wrote to each committee member (copy it, if you’d like!):

Dear ____

I’m writing to ask that you support L.D. 1192 in order to prevent insurance companies from discriminating against dog owners. Insurance discrimination creates undue hardship on responsible dog owners, such as myself, and on our animal shelter system which must bear the burden of caring for dogs that are safe, loved, and wanted by their families, but cannot remain in their homes due to discriminatory insurance practices.

Research proves that dog behavior cannot accurately be predicted based on breed alone. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) exhaustive review of dog bite studies conducted in North America and elsewhere has concluded that separate regulation of “pit bull” dogs [or other breeds labeled “dangerous”] is not a basis for dog bite prevention. “Serious bites occur due to a range of factors,” conclude these authors.

Source: http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/files/Community_approach_to_dog_bite_prevention.pdf

Please tell insurance companies that making sweeping restrictions and cancellations based only on a dog’s breed – rather than assessing an individual dog’s risk factor – is not a welcome business practice in the great state of Maine. Every dog must be evaluated for coverage based on their individual behavior and their owner’s behavior.

Please pass LD 1192 and support the fair treatment of all Maine families.

Thank you for your time,

_____

Here are the email addresses:
rodwhittemore@gmail.com,
dick@dickwoodbury.com,
RepSharon.Treat@legislature.maine.gov,
henry.beck@gmail.com,
RepTerry.Morrison@legislature.maine.gov,
RepJanice.Cooper@legislature.maine.gov,
RepJane.Pringle@legislature.maine.gov,
RepJoyce.Fitzpatrick@legislature.maine.gov,
RepMichael.McClellan@legislature.maine.gov,
RepRay.Wallace@legislature.maine.gov,
RepPeter.Doak@legislature.maine.gov,
RepPaulette.Beaudoin@legislature.maine.gov,
molly.gallant@legislature.maine.gov




Boogie and I thank you for standing up for us and families like ours!

boogie

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7 Comments
  1. Reaching out to my main Maine (see what I did there) friends to get them on this! You go Boogie!!!

    April 11, 2013
  2. Are they only accepting comments from Maine residents?

    April 11, 2013
    • I’m not sure Jackie, but it never hurts to hear from folks around the country. Politicians do take note! If anyone outside of Maine is inclined to let this committee know that the whole country would love to see Maine take the lead on this issue, please go for it!

      April 11, 2013
  3. Janice Tuzcan #

    I live in Maryland and I can tell you that our citizens were hoodwinked by our legislators because they bowed to the lobbying pressure from big insurance companies and let the bill die in the House without a resolution …and in doing so many more innocent dogs in Maryland will die due to politics ..but the advocates for these dogs are regrouping and our lawmakers with feel the BACKLASH very shortly ..We are not taking this disrespect to our citizens and their dogs lightly ..We are ready to fight for what is right !!! Wishing the citizens of Maine a better outcome ..

    April 11, 2013
  4. Angela Myers #

    Sent to every committee member – thank you for allowing us to use your letter as a template and double thanks for providing email addresses for the committee members. Fingers crossed that the people who are representing us will come to the conclusion that discrimination is wrong! thanks for all you do 🙂

    April 12, 2013
  5. Thanks for this post! We’re hugely supportive of State Farm Insurance, whose policy is “it’s the bite not the breed”. Here in Austin, Texas, we have Roscoe Properties who evaluate dogs based on behavior, not breed – We’re hoping their property management model spreads!
    http://skylinepetcareaustin.com/2013/04/04/looking-for-a-place-in-austin-to-rent-with-your-doberman-german-shepherd-rottweiler-pit-bull-chow-chow-or-husky-roscoe-properties-allow-all-breeds

    April 12, 2013

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