Foster came in with a list of needs for his future dog. We went over the list together to make sure I got the list in my head before I introduced him to any dogs they were to meet that criteria. His list was the following:
1. Must NOT be Pitbull
2. Must be between 30 and 40 lbs.
3. Must be short haired
4. Must be female
5. Must be around 5 years of age
I had Foster sit in our shaded play yard and wait for me to bring him a dog that met his criteria. Foster is in his 80's and there are several slipping hazards that I wanted him to avoid otherwise I would have had him join me. Surely, we would have a dog that would work. I combed through our shelter dogs looking for anything that could fit. We had just had a big rescue transport the day before that pulled a lot of our medium and little dogs. So, what were we left with? Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes. He wasn't there to see the plethora of wiggly butts and huge smiles of the Bully breeds staring back at me. All deserving to leave this shelter alive with only a few getting the opportunity. Instead of giving up and telling him to check back with us another time I saw a Pitbull mix female about 30 to 35 lbs. with short hair and sweet disposition and I took a chance.
I presented Brandi to Foster. Foster immediately referred to his list of needs. And said, "but she has Pitbull in her". I also pointed to his list of needs showing all the other criteria were checked off his list. I reminded him she was mixed with something else, who knows what and that our shelter has so many great Bully breed dogs needing homes. He said he understood but that his insurance agent, who is his neighbor, wouldn't allow him to have one. I understood that the Bully breeds have a hard ban on them with some insurance companies and I about admitted defeat. I let him know to think about her and she was selling herself rubbing all over him wanting to be petted. He leaves and I put Brandi back in her cage.
Over the next couple hours, I thought about how nice Foster was and the opportunity to put a dog in this gentlemen's home. I contact my rescue friend and ask her if she has anyone that would fit the bill. She didn't have any at the moment either but suggested I stretch his criteria and try a young petite Doberman in the Reedley shelter. I call Foster to talk about this younger dog and was ready to set up a meet and greet. Foster stops me to tell me that he called his insurance agent neighbor and that the home policy he has covers Bully breeds. He said, “In fact there is no ban on any dog breeds”. Foster said with excitement in his voice that he can adopt Brandi and that he wanted to as soon as possible! I was so excited about the news but was skeptical so I asked Foster for his agent's information. I called Bob Perry’s office and spoke with Angela and asked about this no dog breed exclusion and she told me the same as Foster did. Is there really an insurance company that gets it? They're on board with all breeds of dogs being individuals and shouldn't have a blanket ban on certain breeds. I was thrilled for what this meant for the thousands of Bullies that will pass through our doors. People can adopt Bullies and still have home owner’s insurance coverage, yay! We can educate the Valley about this company that allows all breeds of dog to be covered. The company is State Farm, a well-known and competitive company. Please support companies like these that help and not harm our Valley's animals. Foster got to pick up Brandi, now Callie, yesterday after many visits with her while she awaited being spayed. She is home now safe and sound.
Foster had me in tears at one point, during one of his many visits with Callie, when he talked about how lonely the past year had been for him since his dog had passed last September and that he had only really made strides to recover from his depression a few months ago. The human and animal bond runs deep. I wish many happy memories for Foster and Callie.
Amanda Allen, Community Outreach Coordinator
State Farm Insurance, the office of Bob Perry in Fresno CA, ask for Angela! 559-224-4546