Military Families Hurt by United Airlines Ban on Dog Breeds

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American Pit Bull Terriers

Military families who own American Pit Bull Terriers and numerous other breeds won't be able to use United Airlines to ship their pets back home. The airline has adopted a policy, as part of its merger with Continental Airlines, that bans those breeds of dogs.

United Airlines is a federally contracted carrier for the U.S. military.

According to United's website, the following breeds are banned on the airline once they are six months old or weigh 20 pounds:

United spokeswoman Mary Ryan wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes:

“United does not accept certain breeds of dogs based on previous transport-related situations … Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender."

Opponents of the breed ban have started a petition on Change.org that's already garnered more than 35,000 signatures. The petition reads, in part:

United Airlines is the only airline in the U.S. with a breed-specific dangerous dog restriction. Both the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) oppose such breed-specific policies. A dog is an individual with his own unique personality and should be judged based on temperament, not on appearance or breed.

Do you think this policy is fair?