Port Elizabeth of Yore: Canicide and the Rabies Epidemic of 1893

Over a period of several decades, the dog had been transformed from an animal into a pet, a mongrel into a pure-bred. Thus, the threat of mass canicide to obviate the menace of rabies in 1893 was met with implacable opposition by these canine owners. By the time that the harsh restrictions such as muzzling and tethering were relaxed in December 1893, 1,917 dogs had been destroyed and one human died, Lydia Gates. 

Yet again, class played a prominent role in how the epidemic was dealt with. 

Main picture: Prize dogs in Port Elizabeth in 1895 Continue reading

Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Dog as Hunter and Companion

The exact date of the introduction of canis familiaris to Port Elizabeth will never be known with certainty but by 1847 regulations were promulgated requiring all dogs to be registered at a charge of 1s per annum. 

Treatment of domestic animals was often appalling but by mid-nineteenth century, voluntary organisations such as the SPCA had been established to combat this ill-treatment. Amongst the gentry or squirearchy, the hunting dog was an indispensable part of the hunting activities especially during the Easter Hunt at Wycombe Vale. 

Main picture: Howard Mapplebeck with his canine companion

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