Dogs Which Are Not Allowed on a Military Base
April 6, 2019
In 2009, the US Marine Corps and US Army brought in new legislation to ban ‘dangerous’ dog breeds from all privatised housing. This applies to housing both at home domestically and abroad.
When you think of military life, it is somehow easy to forget about the families of those enlisted – which of course includes dogs as part of the family!
For most dog owners, the thought of parting with their dogs is unbearable, which is why it is incredibly important to ensure that you do not own one of the dogs which the Army and Marine corps define as dangerous.
Some unlucky Soldiers and Marines were informed that they would have to part with their beloved pets if they wanted to stay in the military housing. As you can imagine, the new 2009 legislation has had a direct impact on the numbers of people who are willing to enlist in the army. While the motion was passed in order to ensure that all families using the housing were safe, it has had a detrimental impact on other service members!
The announcement came in January 2009 which impacted every single family living on the base. While we know that there are no such things as dangerous dogs, this meant that the following breeds were banned indefinitely:
- Pit Bulls (including Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers
- Doberman Pinschers
- Chow Chows
- Wolf-dog hybrids
It was the fault of the Residential Communities Initiative or the RCI for short why all 6 of the private companies who manage housing for army families chose to rule against allowing dangerous breeds in the residential property.
Military housing was privatised all the way back in 1996, shortly after, the RCI was created to ensure that each housing facility offered consistent policies. This meant that when families moved from location to location, they would have to follow the same regulations and guidelines that they did in their previous abode. Moving around in the military isn’t exactly uncommon! So, it makes sense to ensure military families know the deal when it comes to their new home.
However, domestic homes in Spain have much tighter restrictions on which dogs can live there. Their exclusions list also includes Argentino Dogs, Akita dogs, German Shepherds, and Boxers.
Why ‘Banned Breed Lists Are A Bad Idea’
While it is easy enough to get on board with that aspect of the regulations, it seems incredibly unfair that dogs are being judged based on their breed, as this does not limit army families bringing in aggressive dogs which aren’t one of the aforementioned dog breeds.
Breed bans in general have been heavily boycotted by the likes of the American Humane Association, the Best Friends Animal Society and the ASPCA. Even more surprisingly, the Centres for Disease Control have even joined in the conversation and spoke out about the absurdity of the ban. As all breed bans do is make many, many more breeds vulnerable and likely to be put to sleep after they have been deemed dangerous.
Demonising certain breeds of dogs has never been the answer. The answer has always been found in raising the awareness of what improper training can have on dogs. Of course, there will always be owners who want their dogs to exhibit aggression, and they will encourage aggressive responses from the dogs. However, that level of conditioning would also work on human beings! Thus proving that there are no dangerous dogs, only dangerous people!
Currently, there are plenty of organisations working around the clock to end the myth that banning certain breeds is in anyway beneficial or effective. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that banning breeds and creating new legislation around it does nothing for public safety.
Best Friends Animal Society Ledy VanKavage weighed in on the matter: -
“Decisions about dogs should be based on individual temperament not appearances,” – and we can’t agree more!
However, it is interesting to note that the current residents of the privatized homes had a lot of input on which breeds were added to the list. According to resources, the dogs were added to the list based on prior attacks – some of which resulted in fatalities. Yet, there is no evidence to be found on these attacks.
To further strengthen the argument to ban breeds are the insurance issues which having ‘dangerous’ dogs on site poses. But there are plenty of flaws in the argument which may mean that it won’t be all too impossible to get the legislation overturned. For example, there has never been any scientific data to suggest that one of the banned breeds; the Chow Chow is any more dangerous than breeds which didn’t make it onto the list such as the Akita breed.
It is also incredibly interesting to note that there isn’t any evidence to suggest that the poster boy for dangerous dogs; the Pit bull is any more dangerous than breeds such as German Shepherds. And we all know that German Shepherds are vital to the service of the military, furthermore, when the law was passed the Vice President of the US wouldn’t have been able to stay on a military base after he adopted a German Shepherd puppy! We all know that wouldn’t have gone down well.
But what about those who haven’t got high positions of power? How about the new recruits? When over 90% of pet owners claim that their dogs are a member of their family, it can’t possibly be fair to take them away from their pets. We all know that pets can be incredible emotional support animals, and with soldiers frequently suffering from PTSD it was an incredibly stupid move to make for the military. Or should we say the private organizations which house the military personnel and their families.
With army recruitment numbers slipping, it would make a lot of sense for the RCI to revise their policy to prevent people from having to choose between their dogs and serving within the army. Although there is always the option to live off-base, as 75% of the families do.