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If it comes to this, how do I explain it?

I have a dog that is on my homeowner's insurance company's list of dangerous breeds. I've had the dog for several years, long enough that the family is well attached, and the insurance has known about him, but now they've decided to cancel my policy. I am trying to find another company to insure me, but haven't heard anything back yet. I'm trying to plan ahead, and look at every possible outcome.

I've checked into finding him a new home, but so far have found no one I would trust to care for him properly. I've checked my local shelter (a no-kill shelter, for the record) and they say that because we've been his owners since he was a puppy, he might not tolerate the change well (he's nearly 8 years old), and may become aggressive with other dogs, or even die of sadness. They say I should just put him to sleep if I can't keep him.

I don't want to give him away or put him to sleep, but if I can't find an insurance company that will take me with him, I have no choice - I have a mortgage, so I must have insurance. So my question is, if it comes down to giving him away or putting him to sleep, how do I explain this to my kids. One is nearly 13, the other is 8. I don't want to lie to them, but I don't want to give them the idea that I just gave up and let him go - so do I explain everything I've done to try to keep him? Or just tell them that we have to let him go and leave it at that?

Oh, and he's never bitten anyone, or gotten loose or anything other than just being his breed. I have no idea why they suddenly decided after all this time that he's got to go, unless someone just didn't pay attention.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:28 PM on May. 21, 2013 in Pets

Answers (12)
  • How awful! Is there anyone higher up in the insurance company you can talk to, since you've had the dog and the policy with no trouble for this long? It seems odd you can just be canceled after having no problems when the company already knew about the dog before now.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:37 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • That's so ridiculous! I really hate insurance companies sometimes! I thought this country was realizing how ridiculous breed-specific laws are. If I were you, I'd call your local bar assoc. & ask for a free or low cost consult w/ an attorney to help you with this. Hopefully another insurance provider will be able to take you on & this will be a non-issue. GL!


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:39 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • I'm trying that, as well. So far, everyone I've talked to just keeps basically saying I'm screwed. I'm waiting for a call back from some kind of manager, but haven't heard yet.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:39 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • I think you tell them the whole truth, and you might not want to wait until it's a have-to case. Maybe you should prepare them now that it could happen and give them a chance to get used to the idea that they may have to part with their pet. I think they are old enough to handle it.

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:00 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • Fight this shit! Talk to an attorney and see what can be done. This is so wrong on so many levels.

    Answer by Nos4 at 7:10 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • We had such a dog many years ago but we did not disclose this info to the insurance company. Also your mortgage company may be able to get insurance through a company they use, sometimes it is much cheaper and no questions are asked.. I think you still have a few options before you go through with this, I would not put the dog down nor would I re-home him, even if I had to be dishonest..

    Answer by midnightmoma at 9:29 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • Its a sad situation, you should see where you stand to fight it.

    We had a Chow Chow, that are also often on the dangerous dog list, they often get dementia as they age, and we ended up seeing that for ourselves. Bear was pretty much the perfect dog for over 11 years, very protective of me and our small neices and nephews at the time, one day he just completely turned on my husband out of the blue, it was like a bar brawl, awful!!! We were in a dilema as we knew after that we couldnt have him around the kids, and we couldnt give him away because of that either, he was never the same after he did that walked around with his tail btw his legs, he ended up dying of a broken heart pretty much within 2 weeks.

    Answer by Princess_s21 at 10:14 PM on May. 21, 2013

  • Do you have to let the insurance company know about a pet at all? You could just say you gave the pet away to a family member or friend. Yes, it's a lie but it's better than needlessly putting a dog to sleep. When we signed up for our insurance, they didn't even ask us about pets, but if they did, we'd say we don't have any. Or, if you want to ease your conscience and not have to lie, you could "technically" give the dog to a family member but pet sit him. That way, he's still in the family but not "officially" your pet. None of the insurance questions apply to pet sitting.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 1:13 AM on May. 22, 2013

  • I didn't let them know when we first got him, mainly because I didn't think about it (I was a new homeowner, didn't think about whether I should or not) - they found out then because of an inspection. Except no one came and did an inspection, so the only way they could have known was by driving by and seeing him - he's a big dog and spends all day outdoors (his choice). I have a feeling if I told them I got rid of him, they'd drive by again to make sure. I did finally talk to a manager or something yesterday, and she claims that they had no idea, even though I have the letter they sent me way back when they did their inspection, saying that they knew I had him. She asked me to fax her the letter and she'll see what she can do for me, but she doesn't think it will really change anything. But I'm going to give it a shot and keep hoping.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:58 AM on May. 22, 2013

  • You don't need liability insurance just because you have a mortgage. You only need fire and other home destroying insurance. You don't need trip and fall Go back to the original insurance company and tell them you want to drop the protection against being sued for dog bite.

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 8:44 PM on May. 22, 2013

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