Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 145

Thread: Can military bases discriminate?

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048

    Can military bases discriminate?

    I ask this, because my uncle had a recent experience. My father is a Master Sergeant in the Army Reserves, and recently was taking my uncle (which is his brother) on base at Fort Lewis. My uncle is visually and hearing impaired, and thus has a service dog in which is uses to help guide him, and alert him to sounds when he's at home or in public.

    Now, upon going to base, and according to my father and uncle, the conversation went as the following:

    Base guard: "Hey, is that a Pit Bull? We don't allow Pit Bull's on base, per Fort Lewis law."

    My father: "Yes, but it's a service dog for my brother."

    Base guard: "We do not allow Pit Bulls on base. Period. There are no exceptions, unfortunately."

    My father: "My brother is disabled, and needs his dog to help assist him with daily functions. The ADA says there are no exceptions for where he can take his dog."

    Base guard: "I'm sorry, but you'll have to take it up with the base commander or military police. I cannot allow you on with your dog."

    At this point, my father gets fed up and turns around. My uncle didn't seem too bothered by it, although he is a vietnam war veteran himself. It was my dad who felt they violated my uncles rights.

    These are all of the details I know as of now. My question is, can a Military base legally tell an individual whom is disabled that they cannot come on base with their service animal, if the specific breed is restricted?

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    I would say it depends on how the regulation is worded. The gate guard is likely full of it, and should have been challenged by requesting his supervisor come to the gate. I can't imagine the regulation not having an exception for service animals. If it doesn't, it probably runs afoul of the ADA, but that would require a court challenge to establish.

    I would just question the use of a pit bull for a service animal. Justified or not (I think it is), pit bulls have a rep for being particularly dangerous. While I would not challenge the right of someone to have a pit bull for a service animal, I think it is unwise, simply because of how others would react and how easy it would be to get an animal that would be just as serviceable, but without the rep.

    (I hate having to put the disclaimer, "While I would not challenge the right..." in this post, it has become necessary due to the prevalence around here of late of assuming that advising against amounts to denying rights.)

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048
    I see nothing here that exempts Military bases at all..

    http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

    Seems the only way they can be denied is if they pose a direct threat or nuisance to others.

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    Unfortunately, it will take a court case to establish that such a regulation runs afoul of the ADA.

    However, there is still the possibility that the gate guard is talking through his hat. Step one should be challenging his assertion with the powers that be on that base. I'm enough of a jerk that I would have demanded the guard's supervisor come out and verify the policy, putting his butt on the line in doing so.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Stafford, VA, , Afghanistan
    Posts
    349
    Hopefully your dad got the guards name...I would have him make an appointment with the base Provost Marshal and explain the situation. Then ask the policy be changed IAW the ADA

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048
    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    Hopefully your dad got the guards name...I would have him make an appointment with the base Provost Marshal and explain the situation. Then ask the policy be changed IAW the ADA
    He got his name, and followed up with me. He called "Someone in authority" and was unable to get a hold of him via phone, so he left a message with his name, number, and briefs of the scenario. Hopefully he'll hear back from him.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,558
    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I would say it depends on how the regulation is worded. The gate guard is likely full of it, and should have been challenged by requesting his supervisor come to the gate. I can't imagine the regulation not having an exception for service animals. If it doesn't, it probably runs afoul of the ADA, but that would require a court challenge to establish.

    Agreed When I was at Fort Polk LA they had the same policy, unless it was they where a service dog.


    I would just question the use of a pit bull for a service animal. Justified or not (I think it is), pit bulls have a rep for being particularly dangerous. While I would not challenge the right of someone to have a pit bull for a service animal, I think it is unwise, simply because of how others would react and how easy it would be to get an animal that would be just as serviceable, but without the rep.

    The reason they have a bad rap is ghetto scum have perverted the uses of their high drive and strengths for illegal purposes and the media glorifies it by giving it air time. More than half the time those fools in the media miss label any dog as a pit when any bite occurs. That and the "dog community" pushes the breed as just any other dog breed, this is extremely stupid and dangerous. Read about the breed. Educate yourself about the American Pit Bull Terrier. Every breed has certain traits; while each dog is an individual, each breed has certain general characteristics. Pit Bulls of correct temperament are gregarious, friendly, athletic, and intelligent. They love people and they love to be engaged in activities with their people. Pit Bulls are not suited to be left alone in a yard; they want to be inside and part of the family. They are not suited to be guarding or protection dogs. Pit Bulls require daily exercise. They are very trainable and generally enjoy learning new things whether it be tricks, obedience, or sports. You will need to keep your dog physically and mentally exercised. You can not be lax or half train any breed and this is HUGE deal with any strong breed such as a pit bull. It is fools who think they can handle this strong breed and do no training and treat them just like any other dog breed. Those groups have zero business owning a pit bull, all those idiots have done is damage the breeds name. They are used as drug dogs, K9s and are used in rehabilitation centers and out preform most of the most common breeds you see. When you channel their high drive into jobs such as those they excel. Sorry but when misinformed people generalize the breed it drives me insane. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJueekvhRDI

    (I hate having to put the disclaimer, "While I would not challenge the right..." in this post, it has become necessary due to the prevalence around here of late of assuming that advising against amounts to denying rights.)

    rant over................
    Last edited by zack991; 10-31-2010 at 05:59 PM.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    I have read. A lot.

    I see just as much support from pit bull advocates saying that there is essentially no difference in danger between breeds as I see from those who claim that pit bulls are inherently more dangerous.

    The point is, regardless of where one falls in this debate, why use an animal with a bad rep (justified or not), when there are so many other breeds without the rep?

    A judge I know says that the dog bite cases she sees are almost exclusively the breeds that have bad reps. She attributes it to the temperaments of the breeds as well the abilities of these breeds to do much more damage than the typical dog.

    I come down on the side that says pit bulls are unnecessarily dangerous. However, I respect the right of folks to own dangerous things. They just need to be willing to accept responsibility for bad things that happen.

    But, again, my remark was solely in regards to the wisdom of having a service animal that has a rep of being dangerous, when there are so many other animals as well suited, or likely better suited, to the task.

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048

    Thumbs down

    I'd much rather get attacked by a Pit Bull than a Caucasian Ovtcharka, Tosa Inu, or Fila Brasileiro.

    And why is there a thumbs down by my post?
    Last edited by Aaron1124; 10-31-2010 at 07:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I'd much rather get attacked by a Pit Bull than a Caucasian Ovtcharka, Tosa Inu, or Fila Brasileiro.
    Which supports my point that different breeds differ in the level of danger they present. Since pit bulls are seem to be involved in so much more litigation than other breeds, they are likely more dangerous than most other breeds.

    Again, this is not to say we should abridge the right to own that breed.

    On edit: I thought the thumbs down was an editorial comment. I am glad to see it wasn't.
    Last edited by eye95; 10-31-2010 at 07:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048
    Nope. The thumbs down wasn't intentional. I may have accidentally clicked it when I went to "submit reply", but I can't seem to take it away.

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    1,424
    This sounds more like a lack of specific training than anything else. I'm betting that an apology will be tendered and the matter will be corrected by the Provost Marshal.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

  13. #13
    Regular Member rotorhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    862
    Quote Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
    This sounds more like a lack of specific training than anything else. I'm betting that an apology will be tendered and the matter will be corrected by the Provost Marshal.
    Exactly.

    Please contact the Provost Marshal on post directly. Do not waste time contacting any subordinate directorates as they will ultimately divert and refer their decisions to the Provost Marshal anyway. If you don't get an answer from the Provost Marshal in sufficient time (say...two hours or so) contact the Post Commander's office directly.

    A matter as easy as this one should not go as long as a day to resolve. Anything longer is simply ridiculous.

  14. #14
    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Unfortunately, it will take a court case to establish that such a regulation runs afoul of the ADA.

    However, there is still the possibility that the gate guard is talking through his hat. Step one should be challenging his assertion with the powers that be on that base. I'm enough of a jerk that I would have demanded the guard's supervisor come out and verify the policy, putting his butt on the line in doing so.
    I would have called for the Provost Marshall and put his butt on the line. He is supposed to be responsible for enforcing "Base" regulations.

    Last edited by OldCurlyWolf; 11-01-2010 at 09:12 PM.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)

  15. #15
    Regular Member Coded-Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Roseville
    Posts
    317
    Ironically, Labrador's are responsible for more bites in the US than any other dog. One could chalk that up to a larger number of ownership of said dog. Either way, pits get a bad rap due to irresponsible ownership.
    If guns cause crime.....mine must be defective.

  16. #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    Quote Originally Posted by Coded-Dude View Post
    Ironically, Labrador's are responsible for more bites in the US than any other dog. One could chalk that up to a larger number of ownership of said dog. Either way, pits get a bad rap due to irresponsible ownership.
    To get a clear picture, one would want to look at bites per dog and typical severity of the bite. More bites and more severe bites mean more litigation. As I mentioned earlier, I have been told by a judge that she almost exclusively hears dog bite cases about the breeds who have the rep for viciousness.

    Therefore, I believe the rep to be deserved. However, again, that is not to say folks do not have the right to own a pit. They just need to be responsible for any bad outcomes.

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048
    Here in Washington, the state legislature allows counties and cities to enact ordinances to create special housing and fencing for "potentially dangerous dogs". Potentially dangerous dog is any dog that has shown signs of attacking without reason - ie; being provoked, if the "victim" was trespassing, etc.

    Most cities here have certain fencing requirements for the property where the dog lives.

  18. #18
    Regular Member frommycolddeadhands's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Knob Noster, MO
    Posts
    451

    Can military bases discriminate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I ask this, because my uncle had a recent experience. My father is a Master Sergeant in the Army Reserves, and recently was taking my uncle (which is his brother) on base at Fort Lewis. My uncle is visually and hearing impaired, and thus has a service dog in which is uses to help guide him, and alert him to sounds when he's at home or in public.

    Now, upon going to base, and according to my father and uncle, the conversation went as the following:

    Base guard: "Hey, is that a Pit Bull? We don't allow Pit Bull's on base, per Fort Lewis law."

    My father: "Yes, but it's a service dog for my brother."

    Base guard: "We do not allow Pit Bulls on base. Period. There are no exceptions, unfortunately."

    My father: "My brother is disabled, and needs his dog to help assist him with daily functions. The ADA says there are no exceptions for where he can take his dog."

    Base guard: "I'm sorry, but you'll have to take it up with the base commander or military police. I cannot allow you on with your dog."

    At this point, my father gets fed up and turns around. My uncle didn't seem too bothered by it, although he is a vietnam war veteran himself. It was my dad who felt they violated my uncles rights.

    These are all of the details I know as of now. My question is, can a Military base legally tell an individual whom is disabled that they cannot come on base with their service animal, if the specific breed is restricted?
    Back to the original question. Can a military base ban a certain type of animal from entering the base? Sort of. Anyone who is military here knows that base housing has certain rules as to the number and type of pets military members are allowed to have on station, as well as set leash laws and such things that are common in most communities.

    Also the base commander can actually prohibit specific people from entering the base if they have cause. (eg a military spouse who is a convicted pedophile or other individual who has posed a threat to the base community) In this case however, it must be against an individual and for cause. A blanket denial based upon race, creed, religeon, etc would be unlawful discrimination and not possible.

    Having said all of that, it is possible that the base has a housing policy against military members keeping pitbulls as pets on base, especially if there had been a previous problems with a pitbull, but I seriously doubt the ban was meant to encompass working/service dogs. I think the gate guard may have been a bit confused.

    Even if there is such a 'no pitbull policy' on base you could likely have obtained a waiver from the Mission Support Group Commander (or whatever the Army equivalent is) The MSG commander is basically the mayor of the base. If the MSG commander wasn't available the base commander likely would have granted your request. All it would have taken was a phone call to the command post and they probably could have gotten you a green light in a matter of seconds once the situation was explained.

    Hope that answers your question.
    God is the one driving this stagecoach, I'm just riding shotgun.

  19. #19
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    Quote Originally Posted by frommycolddeadhands View Post
    Back to the original question. Can a military base ban a certain type of animal from entering the base? Sort of. Anyone who is military here knows that base housing has certain rules as to the number and type of pets military members are allowed to have on station, as well as set leash laws and such things that are common in most communities.

    Also the base commander can actually prohibit specific people from entering the base if they have cause. (eg a military spouse who is a convicted pedophile or other individual who has posed a threat to the base community) In this case however, it must be against an individual and for cause. A blanket denial based upon race, creed, religeon, etc would be unlawful discrimination and not possible.

    Having said all of that, it is possible that the base has a housing policy against military members keeping pitbulls as pets on base, especially if there had been a previous problems with a pitbull, but I seriously doubt the ban was meant to encompass working/service dogs. I think the gate guard may have been a bit confused.

    Even if there is such a 'no pitbull policy' on base you could likely have obtained a waiver from the Mission Support Group Commander (or whatever the Army equivalent is) The MSG commander is basically the mayor of the base. If the MSG commander wasn't available the base commander likely would have granted your request. All it would have taken was a phone call to the command post and they probably could have gotten you a green light in a matter of seconds once the situation was explained.

    Hope that answers your question.
    Under the ADA, the military will be specifically barred from banning a pit bull if he is a service animal. They can write and enforce all the policies they want on the subject, in the end, the courts will force compliance with the ADA--without the need for a waiver.

  20. #20
    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Montgomery, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,770
    As a retired NCO, my first call would have been not to the Provost Marshal, but to the Post Command Sergeant Major. It has been my experience that, should you want a knot jerked in someone's tail, Sergeant Majors are the folks to see. I've seen them quietly and politely chew a brigadier general's biblical beast of burden.

    My two cents' worth: the gate guard was confused/improperly briefed on post regs.

  21. #21
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Gaylord, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    As a retired NCO, my first call would have been not to the Provost Marshal, but to the Post Command Sergeant Major. It has been my experience that, should you want a knot jerked in someone's tail, Sergeant Majors are the folks to see. I've seen them quietly and politely chew a brigadier general's biblical beast of burden.

    My two cents' worth: the gate guard was confused/improperly briefed on post regs.
    I'm a retired Army MP and I agree with the above. You could also call the MP Desk Sergeant. He/She should and likely will know all the ins and outs of the post policies and have the ability to jerk said knot when it needs jerking. At least I did when I was a Desk Sgt in Bamberg Germany many years ago.
    Last edited by karlmc10; 11-02-2010 at 10:00 AM.

  22. #22
    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    As a retired NCO, my first call would have been not to the Provost Marshal, but to the Post Command Sergeant Major. It has been my experience that, should you want a knot jerked in someone's tail, Sergeant Majors are the folks to see. I've seen them quietly and politely chew a brigadier general's biblical beast of burden.

    My two cents' worth: the gate guard was confused/improperly briefed on post regs.
    Nobody with ANY brains jerks the CSM's chain without a LOT of oomph to back them up.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)

  23. #23
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048
    "Msgt. Schneider,

    I'll begin by expressing my apologies to yourself and your brother at the East Gate with *****. Joint Base Lewis-McChord does have a breed restrictions, with pitbull breeds being included with that restrictions. However, our policy follows the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we must honor all animals on base that are used with those with a disability. The A.D.A. guidelines state that service animals are not required to be registered or certified. The A.D.A. provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and so it takes priority over the local or state laws or regulations. Considering the A.D.A. is a Federal Organization, the policies are applied across the nation. A good rule of thumb says that if you are legally allowed on the premises within the perimeters of any public or private establishment, then your service dog must be allowed to accompany you. I will be sure to take initiative to inform our post guards of this policy, as it is not something that we regularly deal with. Proper measures will be taken to ensure you that this will not happen in the future.
    Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. I wish you and your family the best."




    (I have blocked out the names and titles for respect to their privacy)

  24. #24
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    Good.

    (While his intent and the content are laudable, his letter could've stood some better editing.)

  25. #25
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,048
    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Good.

    (While his intent and the content are laudable, his letter could've stood some better editing.)
    I was surprised to see it as one huge paragraph. Glad he got a response. My dad forwarded it to me this morning.

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •