Got 44¢ and 10 Minutes?
Then you can make a difference!
The U.S. Marine Corp is contemplating a “pet policy” that would ban specific breeds of dogs from on-base housing. This policy will undoubtedly result in military families across the country being forced to give up their “pit bulls“, rottweilers, doberman pinchers and chow chows (this includes dogs that LOOK LIKE those breeds, as well). How do we know this…? Because the U.S. Army implemented the very same policy in January 2009, and shelters near army bases have been feeling the impact ever since. Loved family companions are being surrendered because of their appearance — not their behaviors.
Senator Al Franken recently sponsored (as his very first piece of legislation) a bill that would provide more service dogs to the military. After learning of this bill, I decided to do a little research on Senator Franken, and I found that he is a huge supporter of our troops. In addition, Senator Franken also understands the value of our relationship with animals. This sentiment is clearly demonstrated in an OpEd he recently wrote in support of his service dog bill. Because of all this, it seemed logical to believe we might find a voice in Senator Franken with respect to the military’s policy on certain breeds of dogs.
I put together some talking points, and I am hopeful that all of you will take a few minutes of your time to write to Senator Franken in an effort to encourage the formation of a committee to examine and seek out alternatives to these types of pet policies on military base housing.
While there is a possibility that Senator Franken may not take up this cause, we will certainly never know unless we take the initiative to make him aware of the situation. An investment of 44 cents postage and ten minutes time is definitely worth the chance that we could make a difference for military families across the country.
The Honorable Al Franken
320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
RE: Military Housing Pet Policies
Dear Senator Franken:
I am writing with respect to a new pet policy being enforced in military bases across the United States.
….. INSERT YOUR TALKING POINTS HERE ….
I appreciate your allowing me to address this issue with you.
John Q. Public
**While you are writing to Senator Franken, don’t forget to write to your local state representatives, as well.
— Talking Points / Important Points —
Franken is a very strong supporter of the troops – he’s been to Iraq several times;
His very first piece of legislation was to get more service dogs for military members;
Recent statistics indicate increasing divorce rates and suicide rates in the troops returning from active duty; and
Much is documented on the therapeutic benefits of pets.
Franken wrote an OpEd prior to his bill being passed that contains some great quotes with respect to the healing benefits of pets.
In January, the U.S. Army instituted a pet policy that effectively bans “pit bulls,” rottweilers, doberman pinschers, chow chows, and wolf hybrids from on-base housing.
Military divorce rate
Military mental health issues
Health benefits of pets
Finally, I’m happy to provide a copy of the letter that I wrote to Senator Franken for anyone who needs a little push to get their letter going.