Nineteen states have prohibited local governments from passing breed-specific legislation and this year, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals overturned a circuit court order to destroy a dog based on the presumption that the dog's breed is inherently dangerous. We're hopeful that this court ruling signals the end of breed bans anywhere in the state.
Our team is now focused on repealing existing ordinances where they are doing the most harm, such as in Prince George's County, MD and Miami-Dade County, FL, which both forbid private ownership of pit bull-type dogs. We are also addressing the patchwork of ordinances in states such as Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and others where dogs may be welcome in one county but not in the next.
Massachusetts now has a bill pending that would prohibit insurance carriers from denying coverage based on the dog's breed, and similar bills are being considered in other states. In fact, one of the nation's largest insurers, State Farm, already recognizes that a dog's breed is not an issue and has long had a policy of not discriminating against dogs based on breed or appearance. After Ohio repealed its statewide pit bull ban in 2012, State Farm reported a decrease in the number of dog-bite-related claims in the state.