The Pets Belong with Families Act is required.
In an age when so many concerns divide us, we can all agree on one thing: life is better with pets. It isn't simply anecdotal evidence that having a pet is beneficial to your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Unfortunately, many households are unable to own specific breeds of dogs due to breed limitations. This is frequently the case in low-income neighborhoods. The Pets Belong with Families Act, introduced in Congress, would address this issue by outlawing breed restrictions and opposing size-based limits in public housing.
Currently, public housing authorities have the authority to impose arbitrary breed and size limitations based on the erroneous belief that some dogs are more hazardous than others. However, the data on dog bites is at best shaky, and it's filled with potential sources of error, making it impossible to say that one breed of dog is more prone to bite than another. Breed restrictions have also been demonstrated to fail to protect public safety in studies conducted by groups as disparate as the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Bar Association.
Breed discrimination regulations, rather than making neighborhoods safer, worsen issues like housing insecurity and inequality. Breed restrictions have a disproportionately negative impact on those who are most in need of a stable and safe home. Breed-specific limitations, at their worst, require families to either surrender their pets to animal shelters or choose potentially dangerous or insecure housing options for their pets. By cosponsoring H.B. 5828, the Pets Belong with Families Act, I ask Rep. Pingree to demonstrate to her people that she supports equity in pet ownership.