WASHINGTON, D.C. – Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos plans to fire multiple senior Marine Corps leaders after a paperwork error led to beloved Marine Corps mascot Chesty the Bulldog accidentally being euthanized.
Colonel David Motari, head of the Marines' K-9 Corps, has already been relieved over the incident, which occurred after funding for the Marine mascot program was abruptly cut in a cost-saving measure.
Sergeant Chesty XIII, an English bulldog named after Marine Corps legend Chesty Puller, was last seen alive on November 10, at the Commandant's Birthday Ball in Crystal City, Virginia. During the ceremony he humped the birthday cake and relieved himself on Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett's leg.
Following the ball, his handler, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons, apparently took him to be immediately euthanized so he could start his weekend liberty early.
According to multiple Marines in the K-9 Corps, Colonel Motari had previously issued an order the day before the ball saying that in anticipation of the upcoming sequestration, all funding for the Marine mascot program was being cut and diverted to the Military Working Dog program in Afghanistan.
As a follow-on, all military gear related to the program was to be either sold off or otherwise disposed of.
While animals are routinely exempted from the order and are typically adopted by their handlers, Colonel Motari apparently forgot to issue the exemption before leaving for the Veterans Day holiday and didn't sign it until the week after Chesty had already been euthanized.
Chesty XIII had a colorful career: originally trained as a prison guard dog, he was adopted by the Marine Corps after his predecessor Chesty XII was relieved for attacking a small child at a 'Devil Pups Day' event.
"We're pretty sure Chesty [XIII] was abused as a puppy, since he had this tendency to bite anyone who came near him," said Colonel Motari, displaying the missing pinkie finger on his left hand which he called "a gift" from Chesty XIII. "We also had trouble with what I can only describe as his blatantly racist behavior and his refusal to acknowledge President Obama."
He has also been under fire ever since his trainer concluded he was gay and subsequently began a public relationship with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's dog, Catcher.
Despite the controversy, Chesty XIII also received widespread praise after publicly speaking out about hazing and assault after his bitch was sexually assaulted by a fellow dog-handler in Camp Lejeune.
This is the biggest canine scandal to hit the Marine Corps since 2011, when a battalion commander was investigated over allegedly killing a puppy at a checkpoint in Garmsir. The investigation was later stopped after it turned out he had only killed two Afghans and then said he "shot them down like dogs."