Discriminatory Insurance Companies Are Using Pets As Marketing Ploys
The issue is when discriminatory companies use things like National Mutt Day to pass themselves off as inclusive. We’ve seen posts from homeowner’s insurance companies and their pet insurance subsidiaries. While their pet insurance arm doesn’t discriminate against dog owners with specific breeds or breed mixes, their homeowner’s insurance company does.
While social media posts are public and there’s nothing illegal about Nationwide scouring your Facebook page to find a reason not to insure you, it’s bad form, sneaky, and just plain gross.
We know that breed-specific restrictions have their roots in classism and racism, and whether or not these companies realize it, they are continuing to feed into stereotypes that keep dogs and people apart.
We spoke with Shannon Glenn, Executive Director of My Pit Bull Is Family, who helps dog owners of all income levels find pet-owner accessible housing. She said:
My background is in human and social services working with folks experiencing homelessness and most recently managing the only pet-friendly homeless shelter in the state of Minnesota.
Owning a dog shouldn’t be a sign of what class you belong to – dog ownership and that companionship should be available to anyone who wishes to have one. It’s an overall human issue – and we need to have more conversations about it.”
That’s also why it’s important for you to do some research before you sign your pet up for insurance with a company whose other ventures work to separate families and increase the number of pets in shelters. Do the same due diligence before you share a cute Facebook post by one of these companies.
Companies that don’t support all responsible dog owners shouldn’t get to pretend that they do.
We’re working to improve the housing crisis by supporting initiatives that increase pet-owner accessible housing. If your organization is working toward this, either nationally or in your own community, you can apply for our Pet-Owner Accessible Housing Grant.
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