Lejeune's Policy Questioned
Camp Lejeune, NC - DogsBite.org pointed out the policy issue last week. In 2007, the Marine Corps was sued for 5 million dollars after a dog viciously attacked a young girl living at Camp Lejeune in 2005. The organization has done nothing in this 3-year time frame to enact policy to prevent a future tragedy. Likely as a result, Lejeune is now faced with a fatality.
Last week, 3-year-old Julian Slack bled to death on the way to the hospital after being bitten multiple times by a pit bull. The boy was at home with a babysitter when a civilian friend of the family brought the pit bull to the house. 1st Lt. Philip Klay, spokesman for 2nd Marine Logistics Group, said they are still investigating the incident.
Amy Gaston -- who filed the $5 million lawsuit against the Marine Corps -- said that hearing about the recent pit bull attack brought her back to when her daughter was nearly killed. "I can't believe it is happening again," she said. Her daughter was attacked by a rottweiler that got loose from a nearby fenced yard. She was bitten on the face and neck and half her ear was torn off.
Her daughter has since been through two and a half years of therapy. She is doing better now, but Gaston fears she will never be the same. The girl has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and still has nightmares, according to the civil suit. Gaston now lives in Upper Marlboro, MD, and filed the lawsuit in U.S. district court there.
Washington, D.C., attorney David Sheldon represents Gaston. He said that more North Carolina landlords are being held accountable for what happens on their rental property. The Marine Corps, he said, is basically a landlord for housing on Camp Lejeune. Already, two vicious breeds on the same military base have attacked two children in a short period of time.
"It makes you shake your head in confusion as to why the base hasn't taken steps to stop this," Sheldon said.
Base commanding officer, Col. Richard P. Flatau Jr., has now gathered a team of advisers to look at possible changes to the base's animal policy. The team's task is to "review existing policies for domestic animals on base, analyze historic records, and review military and civilian precedents." In doing so, they will find that many U.S. military bases and cities ban vicious breeds already.
We hope that while they "analyze historic records" another child's life is not lost or ruined forever.
05/15/08: 2008 Fatality: Child Dies In Pit Bull Attack At Camp Lejeune
12/08/07: Rottweiler Attack Prompts Military Base to Revisit Pet Policies