Monday, February 20, 2012

The American Kennel Club and The Hartford Insurance Company: Unholy Union for Owners of Specific Breeds

Anyone that's visited the American Kennel Club website recently has no doubt seen the  banner ads for "The Hartford Insurance Company" and the opportunity to save money on your auto insurance policy. Sounds good, right?  In this day and age, everyone is looking to save a buck or two.

But if you dig a little deeper into The Hartford Insurance Company, and their policies on homeowners insurance and specific breeds of dogs,  the allure of being able to save a few bucks should turn your stomach.

Yep, The Hartford DISCRIMINATES against dog owners that own breeds of dogs that are on their "list".  What list, you ask? The list of specific breeds of dogs that have the highest rate of bite instances, which are: Rottweilers, "Pitbulls", Presa Canarios, Staffordshire Terriers, and Bull Terriers. 

How did The Hartford constuct such a list? 
I was curious, so I called them. Below is part of my conversation with the representative:

ME: I'm interested in a homeowner's policy, are there limitations on pets?
REP: Yes, if you own a specific breed of dog, such as a Rottweiler or Pit Bull. What dogs do you own?
ME: Rottweilers
REP: I'm so sorry, they are such sweet dogs, but we don't write homeowners policies for Rottweilers.
ME: Are there other breeds that you won't write a policy for?
REP: Yes, there are 5 breeds: Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Presa Canarios, Stafford Terriers, and Bull Terriers
ME: Why those 5 breeds?
REP: Because they have the highest rate of bite/attack instances in the U.S.
ME:  How did they arrive at this conclusion?
REP: Well, the company looks at bite reports, and statistics by breed (her words, NOT mine) determine the breeds. And these breeds, especially Rottweilers and Pitbulls and Presas, are always at the top of the list of bites.
ME: Do you realize that there is NO reliable statistical data kept by anyone, that tracks dog bite instances by breed? 
REP: Well, they compile the list based on police reports and bite reports.
ME: Do you realize that our very own Centers For Disease Control stopped trying to track dog bites by breed around 20 years ago due to MISIDENTIFICATION of breeds by police, animal control and the public?
REP: (no answer) 
ME: What if someone owned one of these dogs and the dog had earned a title, such as obedience? Would they be able to get homeowners insurance?
REP: Oh, yes! If you own one of these breeds and it has earned its CGC, we would most definitely write a policy for you! And we would need a copy of the certificate.
ME: You do realize that any dog can bite a person or another animal even WITH a CGC....
I didn't give the rep a chance to answer my question. Quite frankly, I was boiling to the point of almost saying very bad things, but I bit my tongue. Hard.

 Breed discrimination and homeowners insurance , sadly, is nothing new to those of us that own Rottweilers, or any other misaligned breed of dog.  However, when one of the most prestigious purebred dog registries (namely The American Kennel Club)-- that vehemently OPPOSES all forms of breed specific legislation AND breed specific policies-- gets into bed with one of these insurance companies, one has to ask, "WHAT THE HELL??"

"The American Kennel Club believes that insurance companies should determine coverage of a dog-owning household based on the dog's deeds, not the dogs breed." For the full text of the AKC's policy on homeowner's insurance and dangerous dogs, click here.

The Hartford pays a royalty fee to AKC for use of AKC's intellectual property. "
Apparently, The Hardford pays the AKC to use its logo in advertising their insurance (click link above and read the fine print).  It should be made clear that the AKC is not selling insurance; they are merely making a few greenbacks by throwing owners of certain breeds of dogs under the bus, AND promoting their Canine Good Citizen program. More dollars for them!

I am not knocking the CGC. It is a great introductory program into the world of AKC dog obedience. I've been both an evaluator, and the one holding the leash. I am all for obedience training.  But the question is: why should any company, organization, or municipality put upon us stipulations on owning a breed of dog?  Any breed, not just the ones perceived as "dangerous".  

Oh, and by the way, I was also told by The Hartford that "rescue dogs" and "shelter dogs" would not qualify even if they obtained their CGC. 

What Do We Do? Get Ready to Write Letters!

Even if you don't own one of the breeds that made The Hartford's "List", you should write anyway!  Why? Because breed discriminatory policies and practices can be changed to include YOUR BREED by the stroke of a pen and at the whim of the ones writing them.

Write to the American Kennel Club board of directors  and to the AKC  Government Relations Department and express your anger over their unholy alliance with The Hartford, and their blatant breed specific discriminating policies. A letter to The Hartford is also in order; maybe expressing your disdain for any company that discriminates against homeowners based on the BREED of dog they own, and that you will not do business with such a company.

Let the American Kennel Club know that they should practice what they preach when it comes to not tolerating dog breed discrimination----we demand they stand by their owners and breeders, and not throw us under the bus for a few measly bucks.

Monday, March 21, 2011 Promoting The Killing of Dog Breeders, the popular website that allows anyone to create and sell products such as t-shirts, mugs, bumperstickers, etc, has crossed the line, and therefore a boycott is in order!

A user of that website by the name of "romeolover410" has created nothing short of a message condoning the murdering of dog breeders.  While taking a look at some other products, one is also available that says, "Save a Pitbull..Euthanize A Breeder"

According to's user agreement , the products created for sale by "romeolover410" using the slogan, "Adopt A Dog Euthanize A Breeder", is in clear violation of their user agreement!
User Conduct

In using this Site, you agree to not:

upload, download, post, email or otherwise transmit any materials including but not limited to text, data, photos, graphics, stitch files, or any of these elements in combination as a design for products available on this Site or otherwise ("Content") that are unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, vulgar, harassing, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, profane, indecent, inflammatory, libelous, tortious, hateful, racially, ethnically, socially, politically, legally, morally, religiously objectionable or otherwise objectionable, or invasive of another's rights including but not limited to rights of celebrity, privacy and intellectual property.

What can we do??

Visit the product page (if you can stomach it) and leave a comment; there are several there already.

More importantly, contact directly and let them know that this "slogan" is promoting the killing of human beings and you won't do business with any company that allows this type of message to be sold.

Of course, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that "romeolover 410" is part of the animal rights lunatic fringe....any doubts now how the ARs feel about dog breeders?  They have no qualms about seeing human beings KILLED. 

Don't forget "euthanize" is just the "cleaned-up" way of saying KILL.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What If It Was Your Breed?

I am a Rottweiler owner.  Rottweilers (in this country) are a docked breed.  Our standard says so.

The AKC standard for my breed says, "Tail docked short".  I can't for the life of me figure out why there are exhibitors that continue to enter, and have shown, Rottweilers with natural tails.  Can't they read?  I'm sure they can, but what about the judges?  Do they know what our standard says? 

There are many opportunities in various venues to compete with purebred dogs:  the AKC, the UKC, European-style shows, agility, tracking, herding, obedience, etc, etc....And yet, I read things like, "it's my right to show my tailed dog, they can't excuse me for that!"....Well, yes "they" (being judges, I assume) CAN!  If a person can't deal with the fact that showing a natural tail in our breed (in AKC conformation) means that your dog may get excused, then go to another venue!

The UKC, for example, allows either a docked or natural tail for my breed in conformation, so do the European-style shows.  The AKC standard, however, says, "tail docked short"...our standard makes absolutely ZERO reference to a natural tail.  (so, um, just how would an AKC judge "know" what a natural tail is supposed to look like since it is not described in our standard?

I guess those that choose to enter and exhibit a tailed dog expect the judge to just overlook that tail...just take a guess at what it is supposed to be, when every other aspect of our breed is spelled out.

Far be it from me to tell people what breed to own, or what to do with them when it comes to breeding decisions, or whether or not to dock or crop.  Yep, it's your choice on whether to enter your tailed dog or not; just remember that it is the JUDGE'S CHOICE to throw you out on your tail, or place your dog last.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Are You Doing To Educate The Public on the Dangers of the Animal Rights Movement

What are you doing to see to it that the public understands the dangers of supporting the ideas of the animal rights movement?  Do you about it to friends, neighbors...write articles? 

The AR movement didn't start overnight, and it will take all of us working together to defeat our enemy.

Visit "The Endangered Owner" on Facebook and join the conversation. (click on the Discussion link on our fan page)