In Elephant Butte, something is keeping pit bull owner Chastity Cervantes worried. She has three blue-nose pit bulls. Cervantes said the dogs have no history of bad behavior.
But as of March 1, pit bulls, rottweilers and German shepherds are considered potentially dangerous dogs by the city of Elephant Butte. Anyone with those breeds now has 90 days to insure their dogs for $100,000 worth of personal property liability.
City Manager Alan Briley said it's the city's response to the fatal pit bull mauling in neighboring Truth or Consequences last year.
"These are the top three breeds according to the CDC that are more likely to attack people," Briley said. "I know our council wanted to be proactive and make sure if something like this happens, that our public is protected."
Briley said it shouldn't be difficult to find companies willing to cover dogs like pit bulls. However, Cervantes said she's finding the opposite is true.
"It's been a hassle. I've called every insurance place from here to El Paso, Las Cruces, Albuquerque -- and everyone tells me no," Cervantes said. "I don't know what to do anymore."
Cervantes said she's worried that she'll have to move or put her dogs down if she cannot find insurance. Briley said none of those things will happen, but admits that the council didn't come up with a backup plan for those who can't get their dogs covered.
"We pride ourselves on working with the people, and if they just can't find insurance, we'll be glad to work with them," Briley said.
T or C, which had the mauling, doesn't require insurance for those breeds. Albuquerque doesn't either.
Cervantes said she found one company that may cover the dog, but it would be more than double what she pays for her annual home insurance.
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One New Mexico town is requiring owners of pit bulls, rottweilers and German shepherds to get special liability insurance.