Sunday, June 17, 2012

Military base breed ban responses

I have written several articles about BSL on military bases. In all of those, I have chastised the federal government for voting on a policy which is so discriminatory not only against dogs, but also the men and women who serve this country with honor.
Because I grew up as an Army brat and lived on many bases, I know what pets mean to families who are living many miles from home and their loved ones. Dogs become part of the family. I can remember my father not renting a house because they would not accept children. He would also not rent a house because they wouldn't take dogs.
Back then, the military families were not as welcomed in communities which military installations were a part of. Much of the available housing was low rent because GI's simply didn't make enough money to rent a more upscale house. Unless you were an officer and living off base, you lived in what would now be considered tenement places. I know. I have been back to see many of the places I grew up.
Housing on military bases in many cases, have waiting lists because there is simply not enough housing for the families to live in.
Of course, that is a whole different subject but the point is, we were always allowed to have a well-behaved pet in this housing. Breed was NEVER an issue. You simply didn't have a dog who was not adjusted to kids and other pets.
We actually had a dog who was not well adjusted and my father ended up having to give him away to a farmer. His name was Butchie and he tried to bite everyone who did not belong to his pack.
I wrote my two Senators and actually got a response from both. I was not satisfied with either, because once again, after the party line of being concerned about my concerns, they regurgitated what all BSL proponents say.
From Senator Marco Rubio:

As you know, in 2009 the Department of the Army began restricting certain dog breeds from on-base housing facilities.  This policy is intended to restrict aggressive dogs from being on-base which could result in the disruption of military activity. Thankfully, in most circumstances, our servicemen and women have the ability to live off-base and travel on-base as needed.

Our nation should always strive to support our service members.  I appreciate the sacrifices service members and their families make and I will continue working to ensure our servicemen and women are treated with the highest level of dignity and respect.  While there is currently no pending legislation regarding any changes to this policy, I will certainly keep your thoughts and opinions in mind should any changes be proposed. 

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your United States Senator.  I appreciate you offering your opinion on this issue and I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind as these issues come before the Senate.  If I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

From Senator Bill Nelson:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the U.S. Army policy which prohibits residents from boarding certain breeds of dogs on Army installations. This policy applies only to servicemembers and their families living in privatized Army housing.
 
     The pet policy was developed by the Army’s Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) Privatization Program in response to the Army’s request for a standardized pet policy. The policy prohibits residents from housing potentially aggressive breeds in privatized housing. In developing this policy, the RCI privatization partners evaluated input from current residents, past experience with animals in residential developments, and the program's ability to obtain and maintain adequate liability insurance. The policy was finalized in December 2008. Anyone living in RCI housing at that time was "grandfathered" and allowed to keep their pet until their next permanent change of station. The grandfather clause does not transfer when a servicemember moves to a new installation.
 
     I appreciate hearing your opinion on this issue, and if you have any additional concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

I will continue to fight this as I fight BSL on a daily basis. I am disappointed in both my senators. 
 

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