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Bully for You!, Issue #001 -- Paws-i-tive Press, Insurance Issues for Bully Owners & More
September 18, 2006

Bully for You!

Volume 1†††††September 2006

In This Issue:

Paws-i-tive Press: Wallace and Buster
Whatís New at The Proper Pit Bull?
Is Your Homeowners Insurance Putting You in the Dog House?
Quote of the Month: Helen Keller

Welcome to the very first issue of Bully for You! I plan to publish monthly; more often if I have something to tell you that just canít wait. I hope you enjoy this issue and if you have certain areas of interest or topics youíd like covered, by all means, let me know.

Gale Henrard
The Proper Pit Bull

Paws-i-tive Press

Wallace Ė From Shelter Misfit to Disc Dog Superstar in One Year

Two years ago, Wallaceís days were numbered. The staff at the shelter had seen the pit bullís behavior deteriorate since his arrival and they thought he was un-adoptable.

Fortunately for Wallace, Roo and Clara Yori saw past his bad-boy "rep". What they saw instead of an unmanageable dog was an athlete in search of an outlet. They rescued Wallace from the shelter and the rest is, as they say, history.

Hereís a home-made video of the routine that earned Wallace second place in pairs freestyle (two handlers, one dog) at the 2005 Skyhoundz World Championshipójust 9 months after catching his first Frisbee.

A local Minnesota TV station aired this story last month as the two were preparing to return to the 2006 Championship with hopes of a first place win. Rock on, Wallace! Weíll be watching.

Buster Sounds the Alarm

A few years ago, Buster was just another homeless pit mix living on the street. When he kept showing up on one familyís carport, they finally relented and took him in as a pet. This past June, Buster returned the favor by saving his family from a devastating fire. Hereís the story.

What's New at The Proper Pit Bull?

In a sense, everything since the site is only two months old. But, here are the newest pages:

Iím big on rescued pits. Not that Iím across the board anti-breedingóbut the pit bull breed is at a crisis point in our society that all but the most selective breeding practices will only exacerbate.

Thatís why I hope that more people will think of adopting a rescue when they are ready for the next pit. Hereís my page on rescues.

Iíve also added a page to help a local northwest Arkansas shelter showcase their adoptable pit bulls.

And, I also have a very sweet, adoptable Amstaff I rescued. She is being fostered in Dallas because I couldnít find a foster locally.

If you havenít seen her page, please take a look and pass it along if you know a responsible, loving individual or family who might be interested; especially someone in the Dallas area.

Is Your Homeowners Insurance Putting You in the Dog House?

"Itís just business" say insurance industry officials. But, chances are if you receive a letter or phone call from your agent notifying you that your homeowners or renters policy is about to be cancelled, youíll take it very personally. Especially, when it involves this ultimatum; get rid of your dog or lose your coverage.

For most homeowners, hazard insurance is a necessity required by lenders. So, going without homeowners insurance isnít an option. And, for most dog lovers neither is getting rid of their dogs.

"But wait", you say, "my agent never asked about my dog". Many donít or didnít a few years ago. But, that doesnít mean youíre out of the dog house. Over the past several years the trend towards black-listing certain breeds such as pit bulls and dogs with a similar phenotype, akitas, chows and rotties has been growing quietly.

Often customers donít find out thereís a problem until they have an adjuster come to their home to look at a damaged roof or something unrelated to their dog. The adjuster notices the dog on the premises and reports back to the insurance carrier. A few days later, the notice of cancellation comes in the mail.

If there was a list of companies to avoid or a list of companies that didnít discriminate based on breed, life would be so much easier, wouldnít it? However, itís not that simple.

When this trend first started the American Kennel Club and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals both tried to keep such lists. But, they gave up because companies kept shifting positions on the issue. And, different states have different laws that impact the issue as well. After awhile it became impractical to stay current.

Based on my research though, I can make a few suggestions about where to look if the need arises. State Farm maintains that it is their companyís policy that they do not discriminate based on breed.

One caveat though is that State Farm offices are independently owned and individual agents sometimes do refuse coverage based on breed. But a number of bully breed owners have gotten coverage through State Farm. Itís a matter of finding the right agent.

I have also heard anecdotal information of pit bull owners being insured successfully through the Farmers Insurance Group. I have my own insurance with my stateís Farm Bureau. And, in some cases an independent agent may be able to offer you more choices than someone who is tied to a particular company. The bottom line--there are insurance carriers that will cover you; but you may have to shop to find them.

There are currently 11 states that have either passed or are trying to pass legislation that prevents insurance companies from refusing insurance based on breed. Call your stateís insurance commissioner to find out what the situation is where you live.

Meanwhile, if youíre not sure where your insurance company stands, itís a good idea to find out. Call anonymously (so as not to trigger a cancellation) or have a sympathetic friend call for you as a mystery shopper. If you discover that your insurer has gone over to the dark side, at least you will have the opportunity to shop for new insurance without a cancellation deadline looming over your head.

Quote of the Month for September

Helen Keller with "Phiz" circa 1902
Usually they are quick to discover that I cannot see or hear.... It is not training but love which impels them to break their silence about me with the thud of a tail rippling against my chair on gambols round the study, or news conveyed by expressive ear, nose, and paw. Often I yearn to give them speech, their motions are so eloquent with things they cannot say.

Helen Keller

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