A Veteran Banned From Military Housing Essay

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Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherd dogs mark 100 years with the AKC. Both German Shepherds and Dobermans were the Devil Dogs in WWII (Mahood). Both dog breeds have given years of service to the military. Both dogs have been faithful loyal companions and incredibly intelligent. Both dogs are ranked in the top five for obedience and working intelligence (“Dog intelligence rankings”). Yet, the German Shepherd is currently the military police’s working dog and its veteran companion, the Doberman Pinscher, is currently banned from living in military bases. How is breed banning fair or even effective?
In January 5th 2009, the Department of the Army released a memorandum announcing a new pet policy for families living on military base housing. The policy bans Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows and wolf hybrids. This was decided by the Residential Communities Initiative (RCI), which is made up of six private companies that manage on-base housing (Bollinger).
How did the RCI come to decide which dog breeds were considered “dangerous” and therefore banned? According to the FAQs of the pet policy, RCI “evaluated input from current residents, past experience with animals in residential developments (both on-post and off), and the effect on the Projects’ ability to obtain and maintain adequate liability insurance at a reasonable price” (“Frequently Asked Questions“). In other words, pure anecdotal evidence. No scientific tests or studies of any kind. In fact researching dog bite fatalities involving military children from 2007 to 2010, none of those children were bitten by Doberman Pinschers (“Dog Bite Fatalities…”). Furthermore, in a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which covered...

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“Dog Bite Fatalities Involving Military Children On and Off Base Housing.” DogsBite Blog. Lyn Media Group, 3 Aug. 2010. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
“Frequently Asked Questions - Pet Policy for Privatized Housing Under the Army’s Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) Privatization Program.” The Villages at Fort Irwin. Irwin.Army.Mil, 1 Apr. 2009. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
“Help find a missing medical alert dog named Bella.” CBS 8. WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc., 14 Dec, 2011. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Mahood, Jan. “SUPERDOGS at the CENTENNIAL.” AKC Gazette 125.12 (2008): 30-35. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Rolfe, David S. “US Army Veterinary Command (VETCOM) Information and Guidance - Policy for Privatized Housing under the Army’s Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) Privatization Program.” Memo for Distribution. 17 Feb. 2009. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.

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