Bill would end “dog discrimination”

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 4:26 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - At the Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary in Washoe Valley, dogs are given a second chance. Many were slated to be euthanized before they got here. They receive behavioral consultation along with training so they can be matched up with the right family.

There are plenty of success stories.

The manager says wouldn’t it be a shame if the dogs were judged by their breed alone as a measure of their potential.

But when it comes to some insurance companies in our state, that is exactly what was happening.

“For example, I rent an apartment. My apartment requires that I have some kind of renter’s insurance,” says Senator Melanie Scheible, a democrat representing District 9. “And so now that renter’s insurance is no longer allowed to discriminate because of the kind of dog I have,” she says.

Senator Scheible is the major sponsor of Senate Bill 103. The bill prohibits insurance companies in the state from denying coverage based on the dog breed alone.

It has been amended to allow insurance companies to ask for a history on the dog itself for any dangerous behavior. But such blanket policies, Scheible says, prevent people from getting housing at all as many will not leave their dog behind.

She says research shows these policies do not make communities safer if for nothing else, people have trouble identifying breeds which may give a false sense of security.

“A number of political scientists and academics and veterinarian groups have said that first of all, people are bad at identifying breeds. Second of all, there is not a strong correlation between breed type and dangerousness of the animal,” says Senator Scheible.

In past sessions the Nevada Legislature has passed bills prohibiting public places from banning specific breeds of dogs. This bill the senator says closes the circle on dog discrimination.

Senate 103 passed out of the senate. It is now in the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee.

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