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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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STRAY DOGS. Stories of dogs roaming Dubuque neighborhoods were common during the early 1800s. In an effort to solve the problem, police were occasionally summoned to hunt the animals down. In July, 1876 such an episode resulted in the following story in the Dubuque Herald:

                          Yesterday morning the police, armed and 
                          equipped themselves, according to law, 
                          preparatory to a war on the canine portion.
                          Forty-eight shots were fired yesterday
                          morning resulted in killing twenty-eight
                          dogs and wounding several others. (1)

A repeat of the shooting was held on July 20th. (2) The shooting of dogs was continued in 1878 with people living on the southern edge of town complaining that not enough effort was being given to their part of the city. Dogs only wounded were sometimes stoned to death and ricochet bullets wounded children. (3)

In June, 1878 officials announced that "the guillotine method" would be used to exterminate stray dogs. (4) In September 1878 the Dubuque Herald reported that up to that time between 575 and 600 dogs had been killed. (5)

Beginning in October 1878 poison, rather than bullets, were used. (6)



1. "Shooting the Dogs," Dubuque Herald, July 18, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760718&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, July 21, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760721&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, August 2, 1878, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18780803&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, June 21, 1878, p. 4

5. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, September 14, 1878, p. 4. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18780914&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

6. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, October 8, 1878, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18781008&printsec=frontpage&hl=en