Breed Discrimination on Base

August 13, 2012  

A military family must send their dog all the way to Guam to keep him

We are currently stationed on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. Our house was broken into back in November of 2010 when we lived off base. It’s just one of those things you don’t expect to ever happen to you. As a result of the break in, my wife no longer felt comfortable or safe living in that same home or even off base. It’s just a horrible feeling knowing that someone violated your personal space and knowing that the situation can occur again.

We ultimately put our name on the housing list and understood that it was either we gave up our Rottweiler, Zeus, or look elsewhere for a place to live, which we hated. It was a hard decision for us, to give up our pup, who due to his breed was automatically denied the opportunity to live with us in base housing. But instead of sticking him in a shelter as many people would have done, we chose to send him to my wife’s parents in Guam. They took him in openly as they understood our situation. One way or another we were stuck in a hole, as we currently have a Husky mix and a Min Pin mix as well, and it’s housing policy to have no more than two pets as well as not have a dog on the banned list.

It bothers me that due to a dog’s specific breed it can be considered aggressive or a threat. In my opinion you cannot judge an animal by his breed, as they differ from case to case.

As responsible pet owners we educated ourselves on the whole subject of pet ownership, we invested over $1,200 in dog training, as we believe it’s crucial in the development of a well-balanced dog along with many other aspects. I believe the system fails due to the lack of knowledge and education within many communities. As a result, responsible owners have to pay for the actions of the irresponsible owners. There needs to be a better system in place to weed out such owners. As seen from my yard, there are many owners who pretty much keep their pets as yard ornaments, in a sense that they cannot control them within their homes. So in essence, their solution becomes to leave them in the yard so that they won’t have to deal with it, which should not be the case. Overall, the problem I see is irresponsible pet ownership, which is far from banning selective breeds. What policy makers need to do is ban these irresponsible pet owners.

We are due to have a permanent change of station to Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas and are currently looking to purchase a home in that area, since we know we will not be able to bring Zeus into base housing due to the restrictions and limitations.

Sign the petition to standardize military pet policies. Visit Dogs on Deployment for more info.

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  1. Michelle says:

    I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of all the other responsible pet owners who are also caught up in this horrible BSL cycle! I also, wanted to applaud you for deciding to, not only do what is right for your human family but, also what’s right for your “furry” family members too.