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Tag: breed ban

83 S.C. dogs exempted from Marine breed ban

Of 85 dogs in South Carolina that belong to the three breeds banned from Marine housing, only two proved to be potentially dangerous when tested by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

As a result, the other 83 were granted exemptions from the Marine’s worldwide breed ban and will be allowed to continue to reside at Marine bases until 2012.

The Marines this year banned pit bulls, Rottweilers and canine-wolf mixes because their “dominant traits of aggression present an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of personnel.”  But owners who can show through assessments that their dogs aren’t dangerous may get waivers and keep them on bases through 2012.

Of the 85 dogs assessed by the ASPCA, two will have to leave base housing, according to the Orangeburg Times and Democrat. Two others showed aggressive tendencies but one will work with a trainer and another will be neutered.

The breed ban came after a 3-year-old boy was fatally attacked by a pit bull at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

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.

The tests seemed to confirm what most of us already know — breed-specific rules and legislation are sheer folly.

“We believe breed bans cannot be effective because of this. We found some really great animals and families,” ASPCA animal behavior expert Emily Weiss said. “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.”

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.”

Pet owners at other Marine bases can have their dogs assessed by veterinarians.

DNA testing saves dog from execution

petdnaIt took a DNA test to prove it, but Angie Cartwright — who lives in a town that bans pit bulls — has certified that her dog Lucey is only 12 percent bully breeds, and now she has her back.

Lucey had never bitten anyone; nor had she ever acted aggressively, according to the Salina Journal in Kansas. But she was scooped up by animal control officers.

The officers explained that they were taking Lucey to a veterinarian for a breed check — a professional opinion (meaning veterinarian’s guess) to determine Lucey’s breed.

Since 2005, Salina has had a ban on owning unregistered pit bulls and mixed breeds that are predominantly pit bull.

Cartwright got approval to have her vet conduct DNA breed analysis test, ther results of which led to the return of her dog.

The blood test found that a minor amount of Lucey’s DNA came from Staffordshire bull terrier genes — just over 12 percent.

“Maybe this can save someone’s animal, hopefully,” Cartwright said. Read more »

Semper Fido

Add the Marines to the list of military branches banning “dangerous” dog breeds from some of their bases — most recently Camp Lejuene in North Carolina.

Nearly a year after a 3-year-old boy was killed by a visiting pit bull at Camp Lejeune, the base has changed its pet policy to ban full or mixed breeds of pit bull or Rottweiler, wolf hybrids, “any dog of any breed with traits of aggression as determined by the base veterinarian,” and any dog with a record of vicious behavior, according to a base spokesman.

A Pentagon memo issued earlier this year bans pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and chows from living on Army bases. The Air Force also has enacted a breed-selective policy and the Navy is expected to do the same.

The change at Camp Lejeune follows the death of Julian Slack last May, according to a letter written by Camp Lejeune’s commanding officer Col. Rich Flatau.  At the time of the attack, no specific breeds of dogs were forbidden on base, though animals deemed vicious were not allowed to stay, according to the Jacksonville Daily News.

In a letter distributed to family housing residents, Flatau said the breed choices chosen for the ban were based on ”a significant body of empirical evidence indicating they are apt to violent behavior, often unpredictable and have the capability to inflict severe harm or death.”

(Clearly, the Marines would never tolerate that kind of behavior.)

Camp Pendleton in California limits the number of dogs or cats residents can have, though no particular breeds of dogs are banned. Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia, bans “potentially dangerous dogs such as full or mixed breeds of pit bulls (Stafford Bull Terrier, America Staffordshire Terrier and other similar breeds).”

The revised order also will apply to dogs brought aboard the base by visitors, Flatau wrote in his letter.

(Photo: Petoftheday.com)

Pit bull documentary goes “Beyond the Myth”

The roots of “Beyond the Myth,” an independent documentary about the plight of pit bulls, go back to when Libby Sherrill was a student in graduate school at the University of Tennessee.

What was her senior project is now a nearly-finished product — a documentary that looks at pit bulls and the people who love and defend them.

The film explores the factors behind the public’s fear of pit bulls and examines the conflict existing between advocates and opponents of breed specific legislation. It also investigates the myths associated with the breed and asks the question, “What exactly is a pit bull”?

To see a trailer, click here.

Sherrill left an eight-year career with HGTV to write, direct and produce her self-financed film debut, and is now hoping to enter “Beyond the Myth” in film festivals.

“Beyond the Myth” challenges the idea that pit bulls are inherently vicious and goes one-on-one with people on both sides of this controversial issue, according to the documentary’s website.

A pit bull owners herself, Sherrill is against breed specific legislation, such as that passed in Ohio, Denver and numerous other jurisdictions.

“Opponents of BSL believe that such laws are a demeaning overreaction perpetuated by media bias and claim that dog bite statistics (showing pit bulls are responsible for the majority of fatal dog attacks) are unreliable sources of information regarding the ‘viciousness’ of a breed. They argue that BSL is unenforceable and ineffective, and that it fails to reduce the occurrence of dog attacks because it fails to address the root cause — people.

“Instead of focusing on and punishing owners who are irresponsible and criminals who use their dogs for illegal purposes, legislatures choose to place their focus on the dogs, making them into scapegoats. Many opponents believe BSL is the equivalent of racial profiling and banning a breed is, quite possibly, unconstitutional.

Through the documentary’s website, Sherrill is raising funds to help offset its cost of the documentary, fund a public opinion survey about public perceptions of pit bulls and how the media contributes to them, and establish a legal defense fund for people trying to keep their dogs in jurisdictions that have banned them.

Former “Army brat” remembers best friend

We don’t know how much heat the Pentagon is getting for its edict banning “dangerous” dog breeds from Army housing, despite many of those breeds having served the country honorably.

We do know, though, that the new Army policy, which singles out Rottweilers, chows, Dobermans and pit bulls as undeserving of life on American military bases, has led to at least one letter – a copy of which was sent to us by the writer, one-time Army brat and ohmidog! correspondent Anne Madison.

With her permission, we reprint it here:

Dear Ms. Vanslyke,

I am writing to respectfully but vehemently protest the banning of certain dogs (deemed “aggressive”) from military housing.

I have a somewhat different viewpoint. Though I am now in my fifties, I grew up as the daughter of an Army officer, an “Army Brat” if you will. I had one younger brother. Our beloved dogs followed us from one posting to the next, getting us through strange, new schools, new cties and towns, new people and teachers, and all the huge (and I will say unnatural) adjustments that Army children are forced to make.

They provided us with comfort, love, stability, and loyalty. The first dog I ever had, Cho-Cho, was half-Doberman. She was with us while we were stationed at the Ryukyus Command. I was between three and five years of age, and she was my best friend.

Our soldiers–and their families–give up so much for us! I believe that their lives are much more difficult now than the life that I experienced. At least we were at peace during most of my childhood, so we didn’t have to experience fear and worry for our father.

Is this “breed-oriented persecution” really going to accomplish anything besides tearing families apart and separating respected war veterans from their loved pets? It seems to me that the Army has many means at its disposal to to control any unwanted canine behavior without simply
going through and eliminating all dogs of certain types. If there’s a problem dog of any breed, by all means–address the issue with the adult involved.

This is just too sad and terrible a burden to lay on the shoulders of those who are doing so much for our country at such a cost. And it’s completely unnecessary!

Sincerely yours,

Anne Madison

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.

Read more »

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