American Pit Bull Terriers are a breed that is met with controversy at nearly every turn. As a result, Pit Bulls have become the subject of numerous bans and insurance restrictions. Hence, owning a Pit Bull, regardless of your opinion of the breed overall, is not a simple matter of imposing your will to buy one; it may just be that you have to go much farther than locating an American Pit Bull Terrier pup.
If you are a lover of this breed, own or hope to own an American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), the best thing that you can do for yourself is do some research into the Pit Bull before committing to the dog.
Local Laws And The APBT
Pit bulls are banned and/or restricted in many locales, either nationally or on a local level, all over the world. Restrictions on pit bulls range from ownership requirements to outright restrictions on keeping pit bulls, or even pit bull-type dogs. It is imperative to find out if your home state, town, or even nation restricts these dogs prior to purchase to avoid restrictions or even legal repercussions.
Across the globe, Pit Bull bans have been proposed and/or passed in
The United Kingdom
The United States
In some countries, states or local government are given the choice to control APBT ownership; in others, breed specific legislation is nation-wide. In the U.S., active bans (either local or state-wide) exist in the states of Utah, Florida, Iowa, Washington, Colorado, Maryland, New York, and Missouri. Bans and/or restrictions have been proposed in a number of other states. Since bans on American Pit Bull Terriers continue to evolve, the only way to be sure you can legally own a pit bull where you live is to contact local authorities and check the laws where you live.
To find out whether the APBT is banned where you live, you can call your local dog or animal control officer, your local town/city hall, or local police. Any of these resources should know what dogs can legally be owned, or if there are any restrictions on keeping an APBT.
Pit Bulls And Insurance Companies
American Pit Bull Terriers and a handful of other breeds of dogs may be subject to homeowner's insurance restrictions. As an owner or potential owner of a pit bull, it would be prudent to first call your insurance carrier to make sure that you will be covered in the event of an altercation or bite by your pit bull.
Some insurance carriers refuse altogether to insure homeowners who own American Pit Bull Terriers. Others will do so at an increased rate, and still others will insure homes with APBT's only if the dog proves itself by earning a certification or award such as a "Canine Good Citizenship Award". To add to the dilemma, some companies will not insure (or will increase rates for) dogs who appear to be of pit bull descent.
The issue of insurance is relevant for renters, too; even in homes where dogs are allowed American Pit Bull Terriers may not be because of increased liability for the tenement owner. Some landlords will allow the dogs if the renter agrees to purchase an insurance policy, but often, owners of rental properties choose not to take on the added risk.
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with local legislation and insurance restrictions, it is in your best interest to know what those restrictions are. Families quickly become attached to their pets, and it is a very unfortunate circumstance when surrender of an animal based solely on laws and insurance restrictions becomes necessary. Many families could save themselves the stress, pain, and anguish of having to give up a family pet by knowing regulations and obligations ahead of time, and choosing their breed accordingly.