Elephant Butte, a town in New Mexico is now requiring the owners of certain dog breeds – including Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds – to purchase a special form of liability insurance policy.
Regardless of the training and past behavior of the animals, as of March 1, 2012, the dogs in those breeds were considered by the city to be potentially dangerous, and their owners had been given 90 days in which to take out a personal property liability policy, worth a minimum of $100,000, to cover them.
Alan Briley, the City Manager, explained that this requirement is a response by the city to an occurrence last year in the neighboring town of Truth or Consequences, where there was a fatal mauling by a Pit Bull.
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Briley stated that the three breeds included within this new requirement, are those that have been determined to have the highest risk of attacking people by the CDC, and that “I know our council wanted to be proactive and make sure if something like this happens, that our public is protected.”
He went on to say that dog owners shouldn’t find it challenging to find insurers that are willing to sell a policy in order to offer the necessary coverage. However, some dog owners have said that they have not found it easy to meet the insurance requirements. This includes dog owners that have never had any problems with their animals in the past.
This has left them very concerned that they will be forced with the choice of either having to move or having to euthanize their pets because they cannot find access to the needed coverage. Briley has assured those dog owners that this will not occur, but has admitted that there was no “plan B” created by the council in order to deal with this situation.