Best Friends Animal Society Applauds Arizona House for the Passage of Bill 2323
Kanab, UT – Best Friends Animal Society applauds the Arizona state legislature for its support and passage of HB 2323, sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh, which protects consumers from insurance companies blacklisting breeds of dogs. Sixty-nine million American households have pet dogs of every breed and mix with ninety-five percent of Americans viewing pets as members of their family. Unfortunately, the majority of Arizona insurance companies dictate what breed or mix of dog pet owners can keep, regardless of the pet’s behavior. This outdated breed blacklist persists even though there is no scientific evidence or actuarially supported data to prove certain breeds or mixes are inherently more dangerous than others.
HB 2323 looks to change these outdated policies by not allowing the breed of dog to be considered or used for the following purposes: underwriting or actuarial processes for determining risk, liability, actual or potential losses or any other matter related to claims involving dogs under an insurance policy, in questionnaires, surveys or other means of gathering information regarding ownership or possession of a dog or the presence of a dog on premises insured or to be insured under a policy or findings of fact or conclusions of law entered by a court, administrative law judge, hearing officer, arbitrator or other legal decision maker regarding whether a dog is aggressive or vicious or has caused liability to occur, as part of determining coverage, liability or damages related to a policy of insurance.
“Thank you, Rep. Kavanagh, for your leadership on such a critical issue facing Arizona families. Breed-based restrictions are inaccurate, outdated and are disproven in keeping communities safe. This bill will help protect Arizona families from having to choose between putting a roof over their head or keeping their beloved pet,” said Laura Donahue, Best Friends Animal Society Director of Legislation and Advocacy. “We hope to see the Arizona Senate follow the House’s leadership and pass this legislation quickly.”
“Arizona House bill 2323 means so much to my family. We rescued our pit mix Echo last fall, and she has brought us so much joy. Our local shelters are overloaded with dogs like her just looking for a fair chance at a happy life. When insurance companies discriminate against breeds, it presents a barrier to adoption for these sweet dogs. Every dog is an individual and this unfair discriminatory practice needs to end,” said Linda Wiggs, an Arizona homeowner who lost her home insurance after adopting her dog.
Best Friends urges the support for this critical bill in the Senate, and finally put an end to the use of a dog’s breed as the sole criteria to reject a homeowner’s coverage. These practices detrimentally impact consumers of low or moderate means, and people of color, pulling families apart in the process.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is the leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 347,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,600 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.