Mid-Michigan dog owner can't find housing because of dog's breed

EATON RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - “It sucks because I’m trying to find my own place and get on my feet a little more-it’s hard,” said Pit bull owner Brandi lee.

Brandi Lee's Pit bull Jelly

When Lee adopted her Pit bull Jelly from a shelter, she says she had no idea how hard it would be to find housing.

“There’s no apartments or places even renters for houses they don’t like to have Pit bulls because the insurance is so high,” said Lee.

She says she's been looking for months and has had no luck because landlords won't allow Pit bulls.

“They just said they’re aggressive breeds they don’t want to be liable for anything that happens if anything happens,” said Lee.

That’s not surprising given the number of maulings and deaths that involve Pit bulls. Including the death of a nine-year-old girl attacked by three of them in Detroit last month.

Lee says she understands that some owners train their dogs poorly and that leads to terrible injuries but insists her dog isn’t like that.

“Even if they did a meet-and-greet or something just to see how she’s not viscous at all. She’s very loving, she snuggles all the time. She sleeps with me. Yeah, she’s a good dog,” said Lee.

Breed-specific renting policies are something the Capital Area Humane Society says they see a lot of at their animal shelter.

“It may not specifically be Pit bull but dogs that are kind of or have been kind of grouped into a category of dogs that some people view as dangerous,” said Julia Willson, President and CEO of the Capital Area Humane Society.

Willson says that can be considered breed bias.

“You can’t really link a breed to a personality temperament but that seems to be something that we see as people have challenges with renting,” said Willson.

Lee says she'll keep looking until she finds a place for both she and Jelly.

Last year the state of Michigan attempted to make it illegal for cities and townships to ban specific dog breeds. That bill never passed.
Apartment complexes and other private property owners can make their own rules.The Michigan State Housing Development Authority says breed-specific rules do not violate fair housing regulations.

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