Families had to choose between their dog and their home

The winter holidays have come early for dogs living in New York state! Last month, the governor signed two new bills into law that will significantly elevate protections for animals, especially dogs, and hopefully reduce animal cruelty. Under these new laws, veterinarians will now become “mandated reporters” of suspected animal abuse, and families will be protected from losing home mortgage insurance caused by dog breed discrimination. Both of these laws seem basic and common sense. So why doesn’t the rest of the U.S. have similar legislation on the books?

Experts say that dog breed discrimination by insurance companies creates a “de facto dog ban” for families, by forcing them to choose between protections for their home and keeping their beloved furry animal companion. Now, that will no longer be the case. Meanwhile, mandated reporting means that if a veterinarian examines a pet that shows signs of being subjected to cruelty, they are required by law to protect this animal by reporting the cruelty to authorities. Vets are in the perfect position to spot such worrying signs, both because of their expertise and because they’re one of the few people outside a household to see a family’s animals up-close-and-personal. Each of these laws represents a fantastic step forward. It’s time for the rest of the United States to follow New York’s lead. Sign the petition to ask the U.S. Congress to pass stronger animal welfare laws!

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