Stand Up Against Breed Discrimination for Homeowners/Renters Insurance


On my WGN Radio Steve Dale’s Pet Worldit’s about time insurance company’s end discrimination that homeowners or renters insurance often places upon owners of a wide variety of breeds. Listen HERE to my conversation with Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative analyst at Best Friends, who wants to once and for all put an end to this. The hope is that if Illinois and also New York State succeed,  other states will follow.

Banning Australian Shepherds? Really? How in the world?

Ledy and I explain why even if the insurance companies have data to support what they’re doing, there’s no uniformity. The decision company X makes in one state about say, an Australian Shepherd might be very different than that same insurance carrier in a neighboring state. Also, breeds one insurance company may consider dangerous, another company may have no issue with.

Ledy VanKavage

Unknowingly, people have adopted from shelters or rescues only to have their insurance summarily dropped, though the dog did nothing wrong.  Also, the dog breed may be misidentified in the first place.

Senator Linda Holmes (42nd). introduced Senate Bill 2462 asking insurance to stop discriminating because of the presumed breed of dog. The insurance company lobby is pushing back, suggesting that VanKavage and Holmes are making all this up.

If you’ve been charged more money for homeowners or renters insurance because of the dog breed you have, or have been denied coverage or coverage have been dropped – please tell your story HERE.

Also, ask your state senator and state representative in Illinois to support SB 2462.

Dog Found Stuffed into Bags Recovered

Emily Klehm

Emily Klehm, executive director of South Suburban Humane Society updates regarding the dog, now named Vinny, found inside garbage bags and left to die. He didn’t die, but suffered from emaciation and likely as a result from kidney failure. The good news is that, while not ready for adoption, he’s making progress. And he’s also a very sweet dog. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering a $5,000 reward, and the Sheriff’s Department is working on this as well to try to figure who did this.

Klehm also offers a bit of an update regarding Animal Welfare League of Chicago – but more to come on that.

Movement within Veterinary Medicine to Stop Declaws

Recently the American Veterinary Medical Association released a stronger statement to stand up against declaw. So have Banfield the Pet Hospitals and even going further, VCA Animal Hospitals have banned declaws. 

Reasons to see no more declaw:

  • Declawing cats isn’t a skill most veterinary students want to learn, and rarely do learn. Even more experienced veterinarians don’t always do it correctly, sometimes leaving a part of the nail inside the cat.
  • Of course, pain meds are appropriate after about any surgery, and certainly after an amputation (which is exactly what a declaw is). However, many (arguably most) declawed cats suffer a lifetime of chronic pain, particularly as they age.
  • If phantom pain occurs in humans following amputation, the same is very likely true for cats (as their nuero-chemistry is wired the same as ours).
  • Simple behavior modification combined with a pheromone product called Feliscratch is usually effective at encouraging cats to scratch on posts (if you have enough posts and they’re proper, sturdy posts).
  • From an ethics perspective – would cats vote to have their paws amputated?