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Marines Ban Pit Bulls on Base Housing

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Vicki, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    By Teri Weaver, Stars and Stripes
    Pacific edition, Monday, October 5, 2009

    TOKYO — Last year, a pit bull fatally attacked a 3-year-old boy at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

    In August, a pit bull mix at Yokota Air Base in Japan climbed out of its enclosure at the base kennel, killed one dog and wounded another.

    During the past year, military bases and privatized military housing began banning certain dog breeds and types.

    Now, the Marine Corps has issued the first worldwide policy banning pit bulls, Rottweilers, wolf hybrids and any dogs with "dominant traits of aggression" from all U.S. Marine Corps bases and housing facilities.

    The policy, issued in August, allows Marines and families currently living in base housing to keep their pets if they apply for a waiver by Oct. 10 and if their dogs pass a behavior test. That waiver will last only as long as the family remains at the same base or until Sept. 30, at which time all Marine housing and Marine-controlled housing should be free of any full or mixed breeds considered pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids, according to the policy.

    The policy comes as more local governments and public housing facilities are instituting similar bans, said Daisy Okas, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club in New York.

    "We’re seeing breed-specific bans pretty regularly," she said. "We’re very against it. We look at how a dog behaves. It’s a frustrating topic."

    It can also be a terrifying one, some say.

    "It’s pretty horrifying to see the jaws of one of these dogs ripping into you," said Colleen Lynn, who was attacked by a pit bull two years ago and now runs a Web site, www.dogsbite.org, dedicated to tracking attacks. "It never goes away."

    Marines living on a base where another service controls housing will continue to follow that base’s rules. On Okinawa, where housing for all services is controlled by the Air Force, Marines may keep their dogs in family housing, at least for now, 18th Air Wing spokesman Ed Gulick said last week. The base is reviewing the policy, however.

    Tiffany Jackson works for Marine Corps Community Services on Okinawa and volunteers with the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society, a series of foster homes for abandoned pets in the military community there.

    Currently the network is caring for 30 dogs and 30 cats. Jackson is the only one who will take pit bulls.

    She can care for three abandoned pit bulls at a time, and her house is currently full. Many dogs she sees had owners who wanted the dog as a token rather than a pet. That neglect, she says, leaves both their bodies and their temperament in need of much care.

    "Yes, it’s an aggressive dog," Jackson said. "It takes a lot of patience and trust. It’s a step-by-step process. They learn you’re not there to beat them."

    She’s been able to find new homes for all the dogs she’s cared for in the past.

    Even though the ban might not affect Okinawa Marines, Jackson and her fellow volunteers are worried about a wave of abandoned dogs as news of the policy spreads. When asked what the Marine Corps is doing to discourage abandoned dogs, a Marine spokesman said that would be up to each base commander.

    "I think the calls will come more," Jackson said of dogs needing homes. "We’ve already talked about it. And we don’t know how we’re going to handle that."

    Waiver application deadline Oct. 10
    Policies and changes

    Under the Marines’ rules, anyone seeking family housing after Aug. 11 may not house a Rottweiler, pit bull or wolf hybrid with them, according to a Marines spokesman. Anyone in family housing before Aug. 11 with those dogs must apply for a waiver by Oct. 10.

    The dog then must pass a "nationally recognized temperament test" by a certified tester at the owner’s expense, the policy states. The waiver must be approved by base commanders.

    Owners of banned dogs will still be able to bring their pets on base for veterinary care, the policy states.

    The ban covers mixed breeds, and it will be up to a military or civilian veterinarian to determine classification if registry papers do not exist, according the Marine spokesman. Installation commanders may ask for a basewide exemption from the policy, though that had not happened as of the middle of last week, the spokesman said.

    Early this year, the Army endorsed a similar dog ban at its privately run housing facilities, according to William Costlow, a spokesman for U.S. Army Installation Management Command.

    There is no ban for Army family housing in
    traditional on-base settings, Army spokesmen said.

    The Navy’s policy allows that certain breeds may be prohibited, though local commanders have jurisdiction, according to Navy spokeswoman Rachelle Logan.

    The Air Force allows each base commander to decide on the issue, and some have banned the same breeds, according to Air Force spokesman Gary Strasburg.

  2. fotte'

    fotte' Pup

    Pitbull Ban in the Marines? :eek: WOW... can any "pitbull attack" confirm that it was just that or some mixed breed that looks like an APBT. Could it have been an AmStaff, Ambully, Staffybull, AmBulldog, Presa, Argentine Dogo, Cane Corso or a mix of any of these amongst other APBT impersonators? of Course, it could've been.... but the media needs News that will Sell, I guess....
    Punish the DEED not the BREED
  3. mlmaas

    mlmaas Top Dog

    the base where i just moved from, has HSUS reps. and ATTS reps traveling in from a few different states and are volunteering to do behavior evals on ALL the listed breeds free of charge. we also have people doing CGC testing, but those are independents. pit bul mixes are popular in the military, i was friends with a vet tech who fostered a few at a time. 75% of the dogs would never be able to pass a CGC, but are very sweet dogs. That dog at camp lejeune belonged to a friend of the family who was visiting.
  4. simms

    simms CH Dog

    Traggic^. However what is worse the ristrictions that are placed on the ppl that serve and protect for our country.

    I think that it is reasonable that the millitary accomdiate these pets by installing secure kennels to include guidlines for all pets.
  5. KADO

    KADO Pup

    This is BULLSH*T. I have lived on base 5 out of my 7 years and now their tellin me I can't since I have a APBT. The real sh*tty part is when I move to Cali I have to buy a house or find somewhere for my dog to live since base housing and anywhere you rent you can't have "APBT or any breed there of".
  6. cbranch92

    cbranch92 Pup

    We also face the same situation at the base that we are stationed at. Thankfully we already had our beloved ladies before the ban went through. It really sucks to think that we will not have the option to stay on base and/or find a place to rent because of the "type" of dog we have. I have to wonder, is there anything that service members can do to try and reverse this ban? And if so, where do we start. I shouldn't have to choose between living on base or trying to find a house and my dog.
  7. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    ASPCA Examiners Checking Marine Corps Dogs for Sensitivity, Aggressiveness

    BEAUFORT, S.C., Oct. 6, 2009

    Representatives from the ASPCA are in South Carolina assessing whether dogs at Marine bases may remain among the few and the proud.

    Animal experts from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are testing more than 100 pit bulls, Rottweilers and canine-wolf mixes owned by Marines serving at Parris Island, the Marine Corps Air Station and the Beaufort Naval Hospital.

    The dogs are being assessed for various traits, including sensitivity and aggressiveness.

    Emily Weiss of the ASPCA says that she expects only about 5 percent of the dogs will not pass the behavior assessments being given over two days.

    Dogs that don't pass may no longer stay at the bases. Dogs that do pass get waivers to stay until 2012.

  8. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    Only 2 of 85 dogs ousted from SC Marine bases

    Posted: Oct 09, 2009 10:15 AM EDT Updated: Oct 09, 2009 12:06 PM EDT

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Most of the pit bulls, Rottweilers and canine-wolf mixes assessed at Marine bases in South Carolina this week get to keep their Marine dog tags.

    Of 85 dogs from the three breeds checked by experts from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, only two were found to be so aggressive as to pose a danger to Marines and their families.

    Those two will have to leave base housing. Two others showed aggressive tendencies but one will work with a trainer and another will be neutered.

    The Marines have banned the aggressive breeds, because their "dominant traits of aggression present an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of personnel."

    Last year, a 3-year-old boy was fatally bitten by a pit bull at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

    Owners who can show through assessments that their pets present no danger to humans or other pets may get waivers and keep them on bases through 2012.

    The pets at the Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot, the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the Beaufort Naval Hospital were assessed by experts from the ASPCA during three days of tests this week.

    "We believe breed bans cannot be effective because of this. We found some really great animals and families," said ASPCA animal behavior expert, Emily Weiss, who said individual assessments are preferable.

    "We don't think it's a breed issue. We think it's an individual behavior issue and what we saw at the base verifies that," said Weiss, who said it was the first time the ASPCA had done such assessments for the Marines.

    "We saw a lot of big, macho dogs, but they were safe dogs," she said.

    Capt. Brian Block, a Marine Corps spokesman, noting what happened at Camp Lejeune, said "having one dog who would do that is not an acceptable risk from our point of view."

    He said pet owners at other Marine bases can have their dogs assessed by veterinarians.

    "If the dog passes the temperament test, that's great. The dog gets the waiver," he said.

    "We think pet ownership is absolutely fantastic for the morale of our Marines and sailors who live on base. But our point was to make a judgment that it's not worth it to have dogs that are dangerous on base," he said.

  9. Rampage

    Rampage Big Dog

    I hope the Air Force doesn't follow the Marines because I don't want to have to buy a house unless I want too!
  10. ABK

    ABK Rest In Peace

    I wonder if that applies to the German Shepherds & Belgian Malinois they use as MWDs? Those mofos DEFINITELY have "dominant traits of aggression" & they will eat your a.. up in a heart beat ESP. the Mals!!

    I wonder if anyone has or will question them on that one ...? :eek:
  11. Fort Cambell in Kentucky just banned pit bulls also

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