Family looking to rent house turned away due to pit bull

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha couple didn't realize how hard it is to find a home for them, their newborn baby and their dog. Seems man's best friend isn't necessarily a landlord's best friend.

There's a lot going on inside the Swanson's home, from their newborn to their 70-pound pit bull "Capone." "As gentle as a fly," says Jesse Swanson. "He's been with me through hard times and good times. He's got me through it all."

Which is why Swanson can't leave his best friend of eight years behind. Leaving Capone behind never was an option, so they looked for a bigger home that would fit the whole family. There are plenty of homes are for sale in Omaha. In fact, realtors will tell you it's a buyer's market, but as this family found out it's not a buyer's market once you utter that word "pit bull."

"Right then and there, 'nope, we can't do it,'" says wife Desirae.

"Even if they're a pet-friendly home, they say the neighbors won't be comfortable or an insurance issue, whatever it might be," says Jesse.

"I've actually called for a few houses and have been hung up on when I mentioned we had a dog, a pit bull," says Desirae.

Capone may be cute, affectionate and a member of the family, but he'll always be a pit bull and that brings a stigma with it.

"Finding a rental that will accept him when it's a time to move can feel like an uphill battle." There's even videos, websites like badrap.org with tips that preach patience above all else, vaccinations, insurance, letters or recommendations, even suggesting a pet resume complete with pictures.

"We would love to do that, but people aren't even giving us the time of day," says Desirae.

Dogs aren't a protected class, so there's no guarantee they'll ever find a place to rent.