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Tag: wolf hybrids

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.

Marine Corps institutes blanket breed ban

Rottweiler-Puppy-PhotosThe U.S. Marine Corps –which had outlawed pit bulls, wolf hybrids, Rottweilers and any other dog with “dominant traits of aggression” at several of its bases — has now instituted a blanket, worldwide breed ban for all of its bases.

Stars and Stripes reports that the policy was approved in August.

The policy 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, 2012.

By that date, under the policy, all Marine housing and Marine-controlled housing should be free of any full or mixed breeds considered pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids.

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

 ”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.”

Stubby’s tale: When pit bulls were heroes

Given the Pentagon’s decision to ban pit bulls and other “dangerous” dog breeds from Army housing, we thought it would be a good time to revisit Stubby, the stray pit bull who became the most decorated canine soldier of World War 1.

At war’s end, Stubby was treated like a hero. Doors were opened for him, as opposed to being slammed in his face. Today, in light of a recently approved Pentagon policy, soldiers returning home — if they have a pit bull, Rottweiler, chow or Doberman Pinscher in their family — won’t be allowed to keep them if they live on a military base. (Thanks for fighting for our “freedom,” though.)

It’s just the latest breed-specific slap in the face to pit bulls, a breed that once served not just in battle (Stubby saw action in 17), but as corporate mascots (Nipper for RCA Victor) and TV show characters (Petey on “Our Gang”).

Stubby, though he entered the armed forces surreptitiously, was the only dog to be promoted to “Sergeant” through combat.

Stubby was found on the Yale campus — parts of which were being used as a training encampment — in 1917. He was taken in by John Robert Conroy and other soldiers, marched alongside them through training and, when time came to ship out to France, was smuggled aboard the USS Minnesota in an overcoat.

Overseas, he served as a morale-booster, sentry and more.

In April 1918, Stubby, along with the 102nd Infantry, participated in the raid on the German held town of Schieprey. As the Germans withdrew they threw hand grenades at the pursing allies, one of which wounded Stubby in the foreleg.

In the Argonne, Stubby was credited with ferreting out a German spy and holding on to the seat of his pants until soldiers arrived to complete the capture.

Stubby eventually ended up in a hospital when his master, Corporal J. Robert Conroy, was wounded. After doing hospital duty, he and Conroy returned to their unit, and served for the remainder of the way.

At war’s end, he was smuggled back home.

Upon his return, he was made a lifetime member of the American legion. He marched in every legion parade and attended every legion convention from the end of the war until his death. He met three presidents — Wilson, Harding and Coolidge.

In 1921 General Pershing, commander of American Forces during the War, awarded Stubby a gold hero dog’s medal that was commissioned by the Humane Education Society.

One New York City hotel, the Grand Hotel Majestic, lifted its ban on dogs so that Stubby could stay there enroute to one of many visits to Washington.

When Conroy went to Georgetown to study law, Stubby went along and served as mascot for the football team. Some say his halftime antics — he would push a football around the field with his nose — was the origin of the halftime show.

Stubby died in 1926. His obituary in the New York Times ran three columns wide for half a page.

His remains were mounted by a taxidermist and presented for display at the Smithsonian. From 2000 to 2003, he was loaned to the Connecticut National Guard Armory, where he was exhibited for three years.

All that history seems to be lost on the Pentagon — as does that of Rottweilers and Dobermans who have served the country, and continue to.

If remembering Stubby’s life isn’t enough to persuade the Pentagon that their action was rash, ill-conceived and discriminatory, then they should borrow from another chapter of his legacy, that being the last one:

They should take their new policy and stuff it.

(Photos and source material: Connecticut Military Department)

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