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Tests may save dogs from Marine breed ban

Marine and Army bases that have banned pit bulls, Rottweilers and other “dangerous dogs” — and with all due respect, sir, we’d suggest they review the previous post about Ella — are in some cases permitting owners of those breeds to apply for waivers allowing their pets to continue living on base.

The Marines Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island in South Carolina has agreed to allow animal behavior experts from the ASPCA to give temperament tests next week to more than 100 dogs. Dogs who pass get a waiver to stay on base until 2012.

The assessment includes testing the dog’s comfort level around strangers and children and how it behaves around its food and toys, according to an ASPCA press release.

The assessment is a seven-item research-based assessment to help identify the likelihood for aggression in individual dogs.

“Our main goal in this program is to make sure safe dogs and their families are able to stay together,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, Senior Director of Shelter Research and Development for the ASPCA.

Breed bans at Parris Island were instituted afeter several dog attacks on the base, including one  in 2008 in which a 3 year-old boy was killed by a pit bull visiting a family living on base.

 The ASPCA is opposed to breed bans — laws that ban specific breeds of dogs or unfairly discriminate against responsible dog guardians based solely on their choice of breed.

“We’re very excited about the ASPCA coming to Parris Island,” said Army Capt. Jenifer Gustafson, the Officer in Charge of the veterinary clinic on Parris Island. “There was a chance that some pet parents would be forced to give up their dogs or leave housing on the base, so this is a great alternative solution.”

A number of other Marine bases have similar bans, along with several Army bases.


Comment from Micah
Time September 29, 2009 at 6:58 am

I think its terrible that any breed bans exist what so ever, but I really expected more common sense from our armed forces especially the Marines. My dad was a Marine. The original mascot to the Marines was Stubby a Pit bull type dog found by marines in WWI and he saved many lives. For some reason it was changed to the bulldog, but thats what we called pit bulls here at the time of WWI. Maybe that has something to do with why its the Bulldog now. IDK. I hope these bans are turned completely around in all the armed forces. This is NO way to thank our solders and their families for fighting for the freedom of the world and keeping us safe. Why punish good dogs and good owners fro a few bad ones. The majority of owners of the band breeds are good responsible dog owners with good, well behaved and socialized dog. BSL has never worked and there are other solutions that do work. Even if you just enforce the existing laws for leashes and confinement that will help more than unfairly banning only certain breeds because all dogs bite and this sends the message that other breeds not on the list are “safe” and its been shown in cities with bsl that attacks from other breeds increase after BSL is passed. Just wait it will happen here. I also want to know why only 200 dogs on this particular base get to be tested and may get to stay for a while? Why are they more deserving than all the other dogs on other bases? I am sure the owners who are responsible will be glad to pay for such a test to prove ther dogs are well behaved. My last question is why is it always the American Pit bull terrier and related breeds commonly mistaken for APBTs? These ae the breeds you are myuch less likely to be bit by because for over 200 years the human aggressive ones were culled and removed from the gene pool. No other breeds can claim this. I used to be a cable guy and this is where I started having a love for these breeds because despite appearances they were almost always the human friendly ones I came across. it was the so called family breeds like Goldens and labs that bit unsuspecting cable guys. I learned my lesson quick to not judge a book by its cover. The fault for any Viscous dog is with the owner and its upbringing not the breed it comes from. Everyone needs to get a clue and do some actual research that involves meeting some of these dogs before passing stupid laws. Not to mention laws like this are like punishing people for something others have done and they are unconstitutional. read the 14th amendment, there are more places in the constitution as well, but none come to mind right now. How are these laws passed. Its nonsense.