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The Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University’s College of Law has a great database of laws pertaining to dogs in all 50 states, including Kentucky.  This is one of the few sites we’ve seen that posts this information in a table format, which makes it so much easier to figure out exactly which statutes you’re looking for and how they affect you and your dog.

Please click here for more information.

We were recently contacted by someone who had recently gotten a German Shepherd for a service dog and was told by their insurance company that their homeowners insurance would not cover the dog.  Another scenario is that the insurance premiums are raised significantly, often beyond the means of the homeowner.  Sometimes, the agency will cancel the policy, because they will not insure homes with dogs on their high-risk breeds lists.

This is one of the MANY reasons we do not, will not,  and will not even consider using a guard dog breed for any type of SD work.  Insurance companies won’t let certain breeds of dogs on homeowner insurance even if they are service dogs.  Allstate here in KY won’t.  The company doesn’t care how good it is, how well trained, how many test it passes, what bloodline it is out of, whether it is a show dog, or if it is a Service Dog, therapy dog, or even if the handler is a professional dog trainer… they will not… not open for discussion.  The same goes for German Sheps and Chows, which are at the top of all agency lists for Homeowner.

Please pay attention to the information provided in the following article links, and make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers your dog. Remember, the insurance breed ban lists apply to service dogs, as well!  Please do your research with your insurance agency BEFORE you bring a service dog into your home.

11 dogs that could raise your insurance costs

By Kay Bell • Bankrate.com

Homeowners insurance is going to the dogs

By Jenny C. McCune • Bankrate.com 

While Pawsibilities Unleashed does not train guide dogs for the blind, we are quite supportive of organizations that do, and are happy to share links to resources that can benefit all service dog users, like this one.  The National  Association of Guide Dog Users has developed a handy web-based archive related to guide dog access and protection legislation for several countries, with the hope of adding more in the future.  For now, you can access their archive to search for legislation in United States of America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United Kingdom by clicking here.

http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/companimals/travelpets.htm

This covers resources and information from the USA and other countries around the world.  Check it out before you travel with your pet, show animal, or companion animal! This is a VERY extensive list.  Enjoy!

Note: Different laws may apply to legitimate service animals; information can be found in the Travel category of Service Dog Resources.

Therapy pets are able to go into nursing homes, schools, hospitals and other facilities to bring comfort and joy to others.  They do not have the same legal rights as service animals, and must be invited to enter a facility where pets are not normally allowed. 

 Therapy pets willingly give of themselves and have an unconditional love and acceptance of the elderly and handicapped, whether they are adults or children. They should be able to motivate people to talk, or reminisce on the past, or to accomplish something they haven’t done or tried in years. It could be as simple as a smile or one spoken word, but it could be the first time this has happened in forever. Therapy animals often produce “miracles” by their mere presence.  Therapy pets can also help children who are learning to read or who need to learn about pet safety.

Therapy dogs can be any breed, mixed-breed or purebred, either small or large, and/or retired from showing or actively showing. Therapy dogs should be familiar at least with Novice Obedience and, preferably, Advanced Obedience work, and should know or learn some tricks. Therapy dogs are expected to get along with other dogs well, as they will be working in close surroundings with other pets. Dogs must get along with adults, children and comfortable in new and unusual environments. 

Cats can be therapy pets, too!  If you are interested in learning more about therapy cats, please contact us by emailing info@pawsibilitiesunleashed.org

Therapy team members are responsible for their pets’ behavior and actions, and can be sued on their homeowner’s insurance if they do not have insurance for therapy work.  Sometimes accidents happen, like someone tripping over your dog and getting injured, so it’s best to be prepared.  Because of this, we recommended that therapy teams join a therapy pet group, like PUPT’s, and pay annual dues for group insurance, which is far cheaper than getting insurance on your own. 

You can find out more about being a PUPT Therapy Team by clicking here.