U.S. Marines may follow Army in banning pit bulls from all bases

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2009:
CHERRY POINT, N.C.–A draft order excluding pit bulls,
Rottweilers, canid/wolf hybrids and mixes of those dogs from being on
“any Marine Corps installation, at any time” may be added to the U.S.
Marine Corps Housing Management Manual as early as September, Marine
Corps Times writer Trista Talton reported on August 2, 2009.
“The rise in ownership of large dog breeds with a
predisposition toward aggressive or dangerous behavior, coupled with
the increased risk of tragic incidents involving these dogs,
necessitates a uniform policy to provide for the health, safety and
tranquility of all residents of family housing areas,” stated the
draft order, posted on a web site operated by Marine Corps Air
Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, Talton said.


“The draft order includes a waiver process for Marines who
already own one of the prohibited breeds,” Talton added. “It would
require them to pay for the cost of having their dogs undergo a
‘nationally recognized’ temperament test every two years. Any
waivers that Marines may have when- and if-this order is approved
will stay valid until Dec. 31, 2011, the end of the grace period,
or upon a permanent change of station.”
The Marine Corps appears to have decided to follow the U.S.
Army in adopting a uniform dog policy for all base housing after
residents of some bases ignored restrictions specific to individual
bases.
“A newsletter circulated this summer to residents of the
Lincoln Housing community at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Twentynine Palms says the ‘no pit bulls’ order there ‘has been
ignored,’ Talton noted. The newsletter asked noncompliant residents
of Lincoln Housing to remove pit bulls from their homes.”
Camp Lejeune commanding officer Colonel Richard P. Flateau
Jr. banned pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, wolf hybrids, and “any
other breeds [of dog] with dominant traits of aggression” from base
housing in April 2009, 11 months after a visitor’s pit bull killed a
three-year-old on May 14, 2008. The attack came as the Marine Corps
faced a $5 million lawsuit over a 2005 attack by a Rottweiler at Camp
Lejeune that cost a child an ear.
Flateau in a written explanation of the order noted that
military police responded to twelve more dog attacks at Camp Lejeune
while he and other senior staff considered what type of response
would best resolve the problem.
The U.S. Army in January 2009 banned pit bulls, Rottweilers,
wolf hybrids, chows, and Dobermans from Army base housing
throughout the world.
At least six dog attack fatalities in five years and one
near-fatal mauling had either occurred in military housing or
involved personnel who had lived in military housing. Five of the
nine dogs involved were pit bulls, two were Rottweilers, and two
were Siberian huskies, who were not included in the Army order.

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