Unexpected Legislation For Bully Dog Breeds

Certain breeds of dogs have historically been classified as bully breeds and subject to special rules. For instance, military bases ban certain bully breeds. And, in the past, many local governments passed bans prohibiting residents from owning specified bully breeds. But surprisingly, that legislative trend is now reversing itself. 

State lawmakers are now overriding these local ordinances and prohibiting communities from instituting breed-specific bans.  In fact, eighteen states have passed this type of measure and another six are considering similar proposals. Of course, this dog debate is often quite heated. Most pet owners view their pets as family members and reject the notion their dog could be aggressive or a bully.  Of course, victims of attacks, parents of young children and others often feel quite differently about the dangerousness of these animals.  

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, you should know this: for homeowner’s insurance purposes, Pitbulls, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Akitas and Rottweilers are typically classified as bully breeds and are excluded from coverage in the event the dog attacks someone. So if you own a dog, check your insurance policy or call your agent and determine if any exclusions apply related to your dog’s breed. If you do not have insurance for your dog, get it. There are companies who specialize in writing policies for bully breeds. 

Responsible pet owners know this type of insurance helps protects not only the victim of any dog attack or bite, but it also protects them.  Without it, if their dog bites or attacks someone, the owner will have to pay, out of their own pocket, for a lawyer to defend them and for any losses or damages associated with the attack (medical bills, lost wages, scarring, etc.). And just as importantly, a victim of your dog’s attack might not receive full compensation for their injuries. 

For more information about dog bite cases in Tennessee, click here.  If you would like to discuss a dog bite or dog attack case with one of our award-winning attorneys, call us any time at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787 for a free, no-obligation consultation.  For more information about our fees and the costs we will advance for you, click here.