Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pentagon Bans Pit Bulls From Army Housing

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. Read more at Ohmidog!

Given the recent decision by the Pentagon to ban Pit Bulls and other "dangerous" breeds from Army housing, we thought it'd be nice to pay tribute to America's [apparently] forgotten heroes.


By the time of WWI the American Pit Bull Terrier had became a well loved and desired dog breed of choice. In fact the Pit Bull was used as America's canine military mascot as seen in such posters as these during war time.









Sergeant Stubby (1916 or 1917 – March 16, 1926), was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat.

Stubby was found on the Yale campus in 1917 by John Robert Conroy. He was of unknown breed; some sources speculated that he was part Boston Terrier and part Pit Bull, while other sources state that he was in fact a pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier while his obituary described him as a "Bull terrier" (which was at the time synonymous with "American Bull Terrier" and "Pit Bull Terrier"). Stubby marched with Conroy and even learned an approximate salute. When Conroy's unit shipped out to France, Stubby was smuggled aboard the USS Minnesota.

At war’s end, Stubby was treated like a hero. Doors were opened for him, as opposed to being slammed in his face. After returning home, Stubby became a celebrity and marched in, and normally led, many parades across the country. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. Starting in 1921, he attended Georgetown University Law Center with Conroy, and became the Hoyas' mascot. He would be given the football at halftime and would nudge the ball around the field to the amusement of the fans.

Stubby wasn't our only hero! Dogs were commonplace during the Civil War as companions for the soldiers and during the Spanish-American War, "Jack Brutus" became the official mascot of Company K, First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.

"Old Jack", as he was known, was considerably bigger than STUBBY and fortunately the Connecticut soldiers never got the chance to try to smuggle him anywhere since they basically spent the War encamped at various places here in the states providing coastal defense from Maine to Virginia. "Old Jack" died of spinal troubles and constipation in 1898.

From The United States War Dogs Association - Their training is intense; their working conditions are deplorable; their lives are always on the line; and in at least one case, namely Vietnam, their rewards were non-existent. And this seems to be the case again... because the Pentagon is now refusing to recognize the heroic efforts, the loyalty, courage and the undying love that these dogs possess. Instead of honoring these dogs and our troops who sacrifice so much for this great nation, our government now chooses to refuse our men and women, and our war dogs, the dignity and freedom that they fight so hard to preserve for our country.

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 has been estimated that these courageous canines saved more than 10,000 lives during the conflict in Vietnam; and that there are some 700 dogs in the Middle East right now. They are being used to patrol Air Bases, Military Compounds, Ammunition Depots and Military Check Points. They are guarding and protecting our Military Personnel as they were trained to do, with courage, loyalty and honor.

The story of Chips is one that brings a tear to my eye, because it is an example of how blind some people can be. In World War II, a shepherd-collie mix named Chips was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for attacking an enemy machine-gun nest in Sicily and, despite a bullet wound, forced the six-man crew to surrender. The Army later revoked the awards, calling it demeaning to service members to give medals to animals.

His unit unofficially awarded him a Theater Ribbon with an Arrowhead for an assault landing, and Battlestars for each of his eight campaigns. Chips was discharged in December 1945 and returned to his original (the Wren) family.

In 1990, Disney made a TV movie based on his life, entitled Chips, the War Dog.


"They did a big part and I think that if you're going to honor the military I don't know how you can do that and not honor the dogs that were involved in that and gave just as much, and when you give your life, that's the most you can give." - Larry Laudner; Vietnam dog handler.

We believe that a dog does not have to serve in the military to be considered a hero. Many of our country's men and women leave behind loyal and courageous family pets when they head out to serve our - THEIR - country. Pets who are trusted to watch over their children and family in their absence. Pets who are loved, and who are there for them when they return. These dogs serve our troops as much as any, because they are there to help mend broken hearts when a soldier does not come home, and they are there to help aid our troops and ground them when they do come home.

I personally, as many of you do, have family who serve our country... who have loved ones, including those of the canine species, more specifically the breeds that are now being BANNED in military housing, waiting for them to return home. Is it fair for our government to tell our loved ones that even though they fight for this freedom, they cannot be loyal to and love the very species who serves along side them?

Best Friends says citizens against the Army’s ban should write a letter to the president, members of the House Armed Services Committee, and Army officials.


To contact the President, click here or send an e-mail to comments@whitehouse.gov and put the appropriate name in the subject line.


To contact members of the Armed Services Committee, click here.


To contact the Army, e-mail Ms. Joyce VanSlyke at joyce.vanslyke@us.army.mil

6 comments:

Amanda said...

I just forwarded this to our rescue message board, and sent an email to the President.

Our Pack said...

Wow! Fantastic post! Thanks posting so we could remember these guys and also to show how ridiculous this ban is.
Marthina

New Hope Pit Bull Rescue said...

Thank you both for the support!

These dogs need to be realized for the heroes they were and are. And that goes for ALL the breeds the Army is insisting be banned from military housing.

Let's effect a change!

Timothy said...

I was just attacked by a jack russell terrier the other day. If it would of been my neck I might not of made it. Are those apart of the dangerous dog list or do too many families own one of the aweful little mutants?

Anonymous said...

I was just watching a rerun of a series and found out aboub the band on certain breeds of dogs on Military housing facilities. How rude it and discriminating it is. The soldiers that fight for our freedom and they can not have a pet of their choice in housing. And is it true that the Military is also going to try to make all military live on base also in the future ? This is not like we live in a free country any more or ever did. I feel for our soldiers as I have a Son that was a Marine and has served in Iraq and Afiganistan are ever going to have their freedom back. They should have a choice of what pets they choose for their families and where they want to live . Sincerley, The Lady that has a German Shepard as a Loyal and Loving Servive Dog !

Anonymous said...

AWSOME POST, MADE ME CRY.
I AM A FUTURE SOLDIER IN THE US ARMY, THIS MEANS I HAVE TAKEN MY OATH AND I AM A PRIVATE E-1 BUT HAVE NOT YET GONE TO BASIC TRAINING. I AM 28 YEARS OLD SO I HAVE A LOT MORE LIFE EXPERIENCE THAN A LOT OF PRIVATES. IN MY LIFE I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE TRAINING OF LITERALY DOZENS OF OUR PENTAGONS "DANGEROUS BREEDS". I HAVE PERSONALY OWNED 5 PIT-BULLS AND 1 DOBERMIEN PINSCHER, SPANNING OVER 12 YEARS OF BREEDING AND TRAINING AND I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE HAD ONE OF MY DOGS ATTACK AN INOCENT PERSON. THEY WILL ATTACK ANYONE OR ANYTHING THAT ATTACKS THEM OR THEIR FAMILY, BUT THEY ARE NOT ATTACK DOGS.THEY WILL FIGHT UNTIL THEY DIE OR UNTIL THEIR LOVED ONES ARE SAFE, BUT THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING DOGS. THEY ARE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY, WHO WATCH OVER ME JUST AS I WATCH OVER THEM, WHO LOVE ME JUST AS I LOVE THEM, AND WHO WOULD DIE FOR ME JUST AS I WOULD DIE FOR THEM. AND IT BREAKS MY HEART TO KNOW THAT I CANNOT LIVE BESIDE MY FELLOW SOLDIERS BECAUSE MY FAMILY IS NOT ALLOWED. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR STANDING FOR SOLDIERS, AND OUR FAMILYS. IT MEANS MORE THAN I CAN EXPRESS.