Friday, November 18, 2016

Petition I Want to Redirect

The problem with this petition, that I can see, is that it's addressed to the outbound President. It's a request for yet another of those "executive orders" that dodge around constitutional law...and that can be cancelled by the new President in January. I see no reason to waste President Obama's time with this kind of thing.

I do agree with the petition itself. Where there are children, there should be cats, dogs, and chickens. Children do not actually learn "nurturing skills" from plastic toys. They learn from things that are warm, soft, wiggly, and able to interact and teach children what does and does not nurture them. Some children might prefer to practice "nurturing" a younger child, if one is within reach, but an animal is better qualified to teach a four-year-old about boundaries than a one-year-old is. And breed bans...are by nature discriminatory and unjust, and also, when they interfere with the people who've worked with a service animal being able to care for the animal as it retires, cruel to humans and animals alike.

I'm not sure whether the petition should be sent to the Pentagon, to Congress, or both. Maybe both. So I'll print it here and encourage readers to circulate it liberally.

Please end breed discrimination in our military housing.

I am deeply upset that our armed forces continue to discriminate against certain pet dog breeds, mutts and their responsible owners, ignoring the advice of the Department of Defense's own veterinarians. It's past time to end breed discrimination in our military housing.

Across the armed services, a variety of  breeds of dogs are prohibited from living in military housing, which is entirely arbitrary and fails to promote safety in any way. Not only that, but these policies affect mixed breed dogs as well, which is even worse because it's nearly impossible to identify a dog's heritage without genetic testing.

There are countless responsible dog owners who are prevented from living with their loving family pet because of these arbitrary and discriminatory policies. These heroes are oftentimes forced to choose between surrendering their pets to the local animal shelter and serving their country.

What's more, dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds serve in our armed forces as military working dogs (MWDs), because in this respect the military understands that all dogs are individuals. Shockingly, the outdated policies prohibit these same MWDs from living in military housing once they retire and come back home. 

Across the country, breed-discriminatory policies like these are being rejected and phased out of existence. In fact, 20 states now prohibit breed-discriminatory laws and more are soon to follow. Indeed your White House even came out against breed discrimination on the We The People website.

In addition to the Department of Defense's own Veterinary Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Care and Control Association, and many others have rejected breed discrimination. It's time for our military to follow suit.