Policy Priority

Pet Ownership Barriers

We work to ensure that the opportunity to enjoy pet ownership is available to all who will be responsible and loving pet owners.

Obstacles to pet ownership can be both beneficial and detrimental. The appropriately-enforced animal abuser registries that we advocate for help keep innocent animals from harm. But we work against barriers that unnecessarily keep people from enjoying pet companionship, such as breed ownership restrictions that restrict housing opportunities or impose financial burdens just because of a dog’s breed.

what we work on

Animal Abuse Registries

Animal abuse often accompanies, or is a precursor to domestic violence, so it is critical to stop people who hurt defenseless animals. Animal abuser registries help law enforcement and pet caretakers identify and keep these convicted felons from harming animals again. We work to ensure that these registries designate appropriately empowered law enforcement bodies to act on attempted or actual violations, and don’t put store staff or shelter volunteers in the risky position of confronting a criminal.

Breed-Specific Legislation

We believe that a dog’s behavior is what should be used to determine if they pose a risk to others, not the breed. A dog, and its owners, should not be punished or disadvantaged based solely on the dog’s breed. We work to oppose legislation that prohibits ownership of certain breeds.

Homeowners’ Insurance Restrictions

Many insurance companies’ policies allow them to deny, cancel or increase premiums on a homeowner’s policy if they own a specific breed of dog; often Akitas, German shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, and Pit bulls, among others. We work to advance legislation that prohibits such restrictions, enabling families to acquire necessary insurance coverage regardless of the breed of their pet dog.

Action Issues

Always on watch.

The rights of families to choose the healthy and well-treated pet that best fits their lifestyle, and access to reasonably-priced and readily available products and services to care for them are rights that need to be protected. Legislation banning access to certain pets will lead to a future in which fewer people are able to enjoy the benefits of animal companionship, and negatively impact human health and our economy.


Explore Our Policy Priorities

Pet Health & Availability

Ensuring pet lovers have access to healthy, well-treated pets and the products & services needed to care for them.

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Human Animal Bond

Making sure everyone can experience the wide-ranging benefits of the human-animal bond.

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Environmental Stewardship

Using educational outreach and policy to bring science-based best practices to the pet care community.

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More About Us

Our Mission

Discover why the Pet Advocacy Network exists and why protecting the right to own pets is important to everyone

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See the impact we’re having through direct action on issues that affect the pet care community

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Who We Serve

Learn about who makes up the pet care community — from pet lovers, to retailers to manufacturers

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Pet Defense Funds

Help us ensure the public’s right to responsible pet ownership is preserved

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