While organizations such as the ASPCA, HSUS and Best Friend Animal Society are making great strides in preventing and ending breed-discrimination and pet-restrictions in “pet-friendly” housing, it is equally important for owners to understand their rights and know how to best advocate their furry family members.
Homeowners, for instance, may be surprised to know that insurance companies AllState, MetLife, Progressive and Farmer’s have breed-discriminatory policies while home insurance companies State Farm,Geico and USAA insurance companies are among those who do not have breed restrictions in their policies. Homeowners in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Maryland may be especially glad to know state law makes it illegal to not offer insurance due to breed of dog(s) owned although higher insurance premiums may exist based on breed of dog(s) owned.
Talk to your doctor or mental health care provider about your pet becoming an emotional support animal. There are many reasons why a pet may become an emotional support animal and if you do not have a doctor or mental health provider to write a letter, you may consider using the services Emotional Pet Support, ESA Doctors or Certapet. Please note: There is no official database or registry for ESAs – a letter from your doctor or mental health care provider is all that’s needed to qualify your pet as an ESA. ESAs (while allowed entry into housing which is not pet-friendly and airlines) are not allowed entry into all public facilities (in contrast to service dogs) so while some sites may sell outerwear suggesting the dog is an ESA this is overall unnecessary marketing.