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Army breed bans come under fire

A Pentagon memorandum issued earlier this year that bans pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and chows from living on Army bases has come under fire as being cold, backwards, misguided and an insult to soldiers who have served their country.

The Pentagon memo, dated Jan. 5, 2009, specifies that those breeds will no longer be allowed in Army housing — but it exempts those already housed. Any member of the military who switched bases, however, would be subject to its terms. The Air Force also has enacted a breed-selective policy and the Navy is expected to do the same.

Best Friends Animal Society in Utah said yesterday it is calling on the U.S. military to reverse the ban, which the organization says is “tearing apart families and their dogs at bases across the country.”

Best Friends attorney Ledy VanKavage said the memo is a “knee-jerk reaction” that “targets the wrong end of the leash. Our armed forces should target reckless owners, not a particular breed of dog.”

The memorandum states families “may not board in privatized housing” any dog of a breed — or a mix of breeds –that is deemed aggressive or potentially aggressive. The memorandum defines “aggressive or potentially aggressive breeds of dogs, “as pit bulls (American Staffordshire bull terriers or English Staffordshire bull terriers), Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, chows, and wolf hybrids.”

”Behind that cold language are stories of our heroes and their families being separated from their dogs,” VanKavage said.

Lynn Lynde, a volunteer with Pit Bull Rescue Central, is married to a decorated war veteran who is currently serving in the U.S. Army. They are the proud owners of three American pit bull terriers.

Lynde said soldiers are contacting her daily, appalled that they cannot bring along their best friend. She said she knows of soldiers who are leaving the military because of the ruling. “They are completely mortified that their country wants to repay them for their sacrifices by killing their dogs,” Lynde said.

“President Obama should rescind the January 5, 2009 memorandum to support all members of our military families-two legged and four legged and to honor the memory of Stubby, an American Pit Bull Terrier who received the Silver Star and Purple Heart,” VanKavage said. Stubby (pictured above) was the most decorated dog of World War I, and was known as the “Brave Solider Dog of The 102nd Infantry.”

His body now resides at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. (at least until it issues a memo).

Best Friends says citizens against the Army’s ban should write a letter to the president, members of the House Armed Services Committee, and Army officials.

To contact the President, click here or send an e-mail to comments@whitehouse.gov and put the appropriate name in the subject line.

To contact members of the Armed Services Committee, click here.

To contact the Army, e-mail Ms. Joyce VanSlyke at joyce.vanslyke@us.army.mil

Comments

Comment from Clay
Time March 17, 2009 at 10:08 am

What a disgrace.
Have written to show my support for Military families.

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time March 17, 2009 at 10:35 am

Unbelievable. Absolutely incredible. As if the soldiers haven’t given up enough for us. I hope everybody writes. (I’ll admit to being surprised at the Dobermans, since for years they served as K9 dogs.)

Comment from Clay
Time March 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

Don`t use
comments@whitehouse.gov

[quote]Thank you for your message. On behalf of President Obama, we appreciate hearing from you. The President has promised the most transparent administration in history, and we’re committed to listening to and responding to you.

In order to better handle the millions of electronic messages we’re receiving and respond more quickly, we’ve implemented a new contact form on our website:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Please note that this web form has replaced comments@whitehouse.gov. That email address is no longer monitored, so we encourage you to resubmit your message through the link above. Thank you for using the web form and helping us improve communications with you.[/quote]

I hope millions write.

Have you seen this?
http://www.lifeinitaly.com/node/4229

[quote]“The measures adopted in the previous laws had no
scientific foundation. Dangerous breeds do not exist.[/quote]

I`ll be sending another message to the White House.

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time March 17, 2009 at 5:48 pm

GEEZ! I am definitely sending my opinion of utter outrage to my various representatives as well as to Prez Obama. Thanks JW for this important message.

Comment from McKenzie
Time May 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I find it rediculous that wolf hybrids are thought to be aggressive. I am in the Air Force. I own an Alaskan Malamute/Timber wolf hybrid and he is totally docile and obedient after a lot of hard training. I also rehabilitate fought and abused pit bulls and they are such awesome dogs although with everything we humans have put them through they have every right to hate us. And yet choose not to. These bans are completely outrageous and I will not give up my dogs because some idiot ruined it for the rest of us…Leave it to an ungrateful government to forget our past K-9 veterans.

Comment from Hernandez
Time August 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I HAVE ALL MY LIFE BEEN GROWN AROUND PIT BULLS IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THIS COUNTRY CARES ABOUT ALL THE BAD THINGS THESE DOGS HAVE BEEN PUT THROUGH HONESTLY THE DOG DOESNT TEACH IT SELF TO FIGHT IT HAD TO BE AN IRESPONSIBLE OWNER WHO TRAINS THE DOGS HOW TO FIGHT THE BREED HAS NO FAULT ON THEIR HORRIBLE REPUTATION AND I AS US ARMY MEMBER DISAGREE WITH THE BAN OF THE BREED I BELIEVE THT THERE SHOULD BE A WAY TO KEEP THE BREED FROM BIENG BAN. I JUS GOT MY DOG SHE IS 1 MONTH OLD AND I KNOW FOR A FACT SE WILL BE TRAINED PROPERLY AND ALWAYS WELL MANTAINED I AM CURRENTLY SERVING MY COUNTRY IN AFGHANISTAN AND MY FAMILY CONSISTS OF MY FIANCE STEPHENY AND MY MALTESE KATHIA AND THE BRAND NEW MEMBER OF OUR FAMILY DAHLILA AN AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER. THAT MY FAMILY AND I CANT LEAVE MY DAUGHTER BEHIND JUST BECAUSE SHE IS BANNED. ITS NOT RIGHT AND I WONT GIVE HER UP TO AN ANIMAL SHELTER SO THEY CAN PUT HER ON DEATH ROW CAN NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT. SO MANY FACTS OUT THERE ABOUT THIS DOG THAT IS ACTUALLY GOOD FACTS AND PEOPLE ARE FOCUSED ON THE BAD FACT OF THESE BREED WETHER PIT BULL OR NOT NO DOG SHOULD BE BANNED!!

Comment from Ellie
Time February 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm

My father and my mother were both in the army. My father even went to war for this country and put his life on the line for this country. They are both out of the military and on June 10th 1995 I was born. Fourteen months after that my father and two buddies of his were shot during a Brinks robbery, one of his friend’s died and the other is still alive. Prior to me being born my mother and father owned a Doberman named Sasha and a Chihuahua named Orion(RIP Orion ?-2006 19 days short of his 19th birth day). Orion would bite and snarl at Sasha all the time but she still loved him, she would cry if he was locked up for biting her. They only time Orion seemed to like her was when she was in heat and that was mostly because he kept trying to mount her. I do not own any of these banned dog breeds but I have encountered plenty of Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds and Mastiffs along with my two crazy Miniature Pinscher runts Tsunami and Hannibal(Named after Hannibal from The A-Team). Not once had any of those dogs tried to attack me or my dogs. I have however been chased, charged and almost bitten by Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers and a Dalmatian. I didn’t blame the dogs but I had doubts about the owners. Most of these so called evil dogs have served in the military and are even hailed heroes for the feats of strength and courage yet this is how our great country repays them. People think if you own a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Cane Corso. Doberman or some of those other intimidating dogs they think you’re a skinhead, criminal or some other bad element. Not everyone want to own a Chihuahua, Poodle, Lab or other breed of dog. I like Pit Bulls because of they way they grin and look into your eyes as if they want to say “So where are we going today?” I like all big breeds of dogs that people say are mean because I can actually see them for what they truly are: man and teenage girl’s best friend forever. Don’t let so anyone bully you because you chose a Pit Bull or a Rottweiler over another breed of dog. It is your choice on what dog you want in America, remember it’s how you train, socialize, breed and treat dog that determines it’s character.

Sincerely,

Ellie the daughter of two proud Army parents.

P.S.

Punish The Deed Not The Breed.

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