Dogs . . .
And Early Days in Watertown
Watertown Democrat, 07 08 1858
Dead Dogs. Somebody sends us the following item through the Post Office, which we publish just as we received it, for the sake of the hint it contains to those who are troubled with the presence of these defunct animals "A nuisance in the shape of dead dogs line the shore of Rock River below the city, to the great annoyance of the inhabitants who have no objection to the un-dogging of the town but at the same time would propose some other method of disposing of the carcasses this hot weather, more agreeable to. SMELLER
Watertown Democrat, 07 28 1859
Ald. Shroeder presented the following account which was allowed and charged to the 2d Ward General Fund: Account of Chas. Buntrock for burying dog. Referred to Committee on Finance.
Watertown Democrat, 01 26 1860
Wanted, a Dog Law. We read in our exchanges every few days of depredations committed in one place or another by mad dogs and have wondered that something of a similar character has not transpired here. We certainly have raw materials enough for the manufacture of ever so many cases of hydrophobia [rabies], provided, of course, the ball could only be set in motion by a single rabid whiffit, no matter how diminutive his dimensions. All that seems necessary is that some worthless cur should lead off in the fearful work and the destruction that would be sure to follow is dreadful to contemplate.
We have been to some little trouble to arrive at the probable number of canine species lying around loose in this city and, after making a careful mathematical calculation, think we speak within bounds when we say that it is not less than two thousand. Only think of it! Two thousand dogs, not ten of which are worth the strychnine it would take to send them to kingdom come! And yet they are permitted to live on as though they were of some little value, if not absolutely necessary accompaniments to the happiness and welfare of their owners.
But the most remarkable feature of the whole case is that this little army of nuisances is growing stronger every day. Notwithstanding sausages are quoted firm in the market reports at twelve and a half cents per pound, the dog crop is increasing daily and hourly and bids fair, if unchecked, to double within another twelve months. For our part we must confess that we do not understand it. It is one of those intricate financial puzzles that we cannot in our profound ignorance comprehend and we hand it over to some one better posted in such matters than we are, to explain it.
But seriously we think the cause of humanity demands the immediate and wholesale slaughter of every dog permitted to run at large unmuzzled in the city. They have no business to exist. They are an unmitigated humbug. They are in all sorts of mischief by day and disturb our slumbers with their howlings by night. Why not, then, put them out of the way before some of our citizens fall victims of their madness? That no one has been bitten here before now is a miracle. It is one of those streaks of good luck for which Watertown is proverbial, but because such has been our fortune in the past we have no right to expect that it will always be thus in the future. Away then with the scalawags at once. A dog-button, or a small piece of meat, seasoned nicely with strychnine, will do the work up effectually and quietly. The experiment was tried in Milwaukee a short time ago under the auspices of the Common Council and found to work admirably. Why can’t our city fathers follow in their footsteps and do as much for the good of their country as their neighbors?
In no other way can they so strongly commend themselves to the gratitude, favor and distinguished consideration of their constituents, as in the one here pointed out. We content ourselves with throwing out the suggestion and trust that some humane member of the board will give it shape and press it upon the attention of his fellow aldermen at their next meeting.
We are aware that objections will be raised mountain high to the demolition we propose but we do not consider them by any means tenable. To be sure, all amusements in the way of dog fights will be cut off and the occupation of many of our street loungers and hangers on at corners will be gone.
Watertown Democrat, 02 02 1860
A good work has been well begun in our city and by all means let it go bravely on until every worthless howler or snarler that helps to make night hideous with his clamorous noise shall disappear. Most every morning the dead carcasses of defunct dogs are found lying about the streets, waiting for the last rites to which even such useless creatures are entitled, at least for the benefit of the living, if for nothing else. Valuable or favorite dogs should be so taken care of that they will not become public nuisances, but no one should try to prevent the speedy extermination of all others.
Watertown Democrat, 02 16 1860
Kill off the Dogs. The Common Council, it seems, is not disposed to act upon our suggestion made two weeks ago relative to ridding this city of its great multiplicity of dogs. We presume this is upon the principle that large bodies always move slow. After some of our citizens have been bitten or fallen victims to the hydrophobia [rabies], we have no doubt a special meeting of the council will be called at once and the necessary action taken in the matter. After the horse has been stolen the alderman will be eager to lock the barn door.
We think the time for them to act is before any harm is done. Mad dogs are all about us. Every one knows that. One was killed in Ixonia on Friday last, but not until he had bitten a little boy. That child’s life is of far more consequence to the world than the existence of all the dogs in the universe. Then why should we be compelled to peril our own safety and that of our wives and children, merely to gratify the owners of a couple thousand such whiffets as are allowed to run at large here in our midst. It is an imposition upon the public and we advise every man who values his life to carry the implements of destruction with him and deal them out with an unsparing hand. This is our only salvation.
Watertown Democrat, 02 23 1860
One thousand nine hundred and seventy-three is the exact number of dogs now running at large in this city, thirty-two having come to an untimely end since our last report. The crop, instead of increasing as it has been for the last year, is at last growing “small by degrees and beautifully less.” Strychnine is doing its work slowly but surely. Hydrophobia will soon be at a discount and the places that now know such a vast army of curs of high as well as low degree will soon know them no more forever. By all means, we say, let the reprobates be dispatched without any unnecessary delay. We can spare them just as well as not; in fact, we think we rather prefer their room to their company.
We confess to a strong antipathy against dogs. We hate them on general principles. They are an eye sore to us at all times and under all circumstances. At such a time as this, particularly, when it is an every day occurrence to be told that a mad dog has just been killed here, or that a child has been bitten by one of them there, or that a half dozen head of cattle have died with the hydrophobia in another place, we say at such a time we do not care to encounter any dogs. We prefer to give them a wide berth. If they will agree to take one side of the street, we will take the other.
Persons owning valuable dogs or those whose existence they would not have cut off in the prime of life suddenly and unexpectedly, would do well to muzzle them or keep them chained up at home. It is evident from the slaughter that has already taken place that the canine species cannot travel our streets safely. Who the parties are engaged in the work of destruction, of course, we do not know, but we presume they are actuated by good motives based on the principle laid down in that sound and venerable maxim which says that “self preservation is the first law of nature.”
Watertown Democrat, 03 01 1860
Pedro, Tiger, Growler, together with many other dogs that are nameless, have suddenly and mysteriously departed this life during the past week. Their dead carcasses now enrich the soil it was a nuisance to have their living bodies roam over. They are out of the way—something like a hundred of as worthless creatures as ever infested a respectable town, and by their presence made day dangerous and night hideous.
But Tray, Blanche, Sweatheart—as the world-minded Shakespeare prettily calls as pestering and useless a tribe of canine vagrants as ever escaped the salutary effects of strychnine or lead—still exist to vex the world.
They should not long go "unwhipt of justice," for they are not better than their fellows who have already been sent to their long home. Then let the rest follow the same road, till there shall not be one to chase another in spring time.
The country will not be a bit too good for civilized and well-behaved people to live in, if there is not a single insolent puppy left to make a noise or get up a row, nor will there be a great deal of mourning if their present owners are compelled to go masterless about the streets, unattended by such evil-disposed companions. There will be enough barking, fighting, scratching, snarling and biting when the whole race is extinct.
We wish to add a word of caution to the public-spirited members of the Dog-Exterminating Society recently formed in this city. They have already accomplished a great reform and are entitled to the thanks of all for the grateful feeling of relief now experienced. It is a fact that pigs run loose in our street—as well as dogs—and the former may be as likely to swallow a finely prepared dose designed for the latter as anything else. Hence, care should be taken how loose bits of meal, in which is carefully embalmed just the right quantity of the breath-stopping article, are thrown about and left to be picked up by any animal that first comes along. We have recently heard of one or two cases in which hogs have been destroyed. As we have reason to believe that those who entered upon this enterprise for the public good have none but the best of intentions, this hint will be sufficient to put them on their guard. Spare the grunters—give it to the yelpers. Shut up the one—silence the others.
If the Common Council don't do anything else about this matter, they ought to vote a medal to every one who has helped to save them the trouble of ever discussing the proposition of taking some steps to protect men, women and children against the possible horror of being bit by some stray and rabid cur who has missed his fair proportion of medicated meat.
Watertown Democrat, 03 15 1860
A Tempest in a Tea Pot. Lager Beer is in a high state of effervescence. Brother Lindeman of the Volks Zeitung is greatly enraged. He is exceedingly chagrined at our article of last week, wherein we plead the cause of injured innocence and Bernard Grady at one and the same time. He froths at the mouth terribly, thus betokening symptoms of the hydrophobia. We trust the poor man has not been exposed to any attack from furious dogs.
Rather let us hope, in the goodness of our hearts, that his excitement is due to other causes. We trust that it arises solely from the great sympathy he bears to the subject he is discussing, and is not in any manner to be taken as indicative of the fact that he and some straggling rabid member of the canine species have come in too close a contact for the food of our fraternal friend. We shall watch his case with deep solicitude and scan the columns of future numbers of the Zeitung closely to observe, if possible, signs of returning reason, or perchance confirmed lunacy. But we will not at present indulge the thought that is so dire a calamity as the latter is likely to be visited upon our afflicted typographical brother.
He thinks that his countryman, Grady, should have been punished. What base ingratitude have we here! He mourns that he was not longer confined in prison for distributing infected meat. How perverse Brother Lindeman is. He objects to the miscellaneous distribution of poison for the purpose of killing off the dogs. How infatuated our neighbor seems! He says that Grady not only should have been continued in the lock-up, but that the editor of the Democrat should have been compelled to keep him company. Here we have the very quintessence of cruelty!
He submits that we have been the cause of the wholesale slaughter of the innocent dogs. Here we fear the editor magnifies our importance! And finally he gives it as his opinion that a dog’s tail for a queue [pigtail] would much improve our personal looks. Here he gives us a striking evidence of his taste! We think it is perfectly characteristic of the man, for one who is so great an admirer of dogs as our friend shows himself to be, would naturally be pleased with such an appendage as he speaks of, to the head gearing which nature gave him. By all means, Brother, reduce your professions to practice, and make your debut at once in your dog’s tail queue.
. . . It may, perhaps, be true enough in the abstract, but as a matter of public economy we think dogs may be used to a better advantage than poisoning.
It is said that baked puppy is the greatest delicacy of the Sandwich Islands . . . why not, then, export instead of kill off the remainder of our dogs? Let them be sent to the Sandwich Islands at once!
The Common Council can pass an ordinance confiscating them, and the revenue, which will be quite an important item, can be applied to the payment of our city bonds amounting to only five or six hundred thousand dollars at the present time, and have a nice little balance on hand in the city treasury. What better stroke of financial policy can our city adopt? It is killing two birds with one stone! We are heartily in favor of the plan but shall insist as a sine qua non that our friend Grady be appointed an agent to superintend the shipment and marketing of the dogs at a very respectable salary per diem, and their tails be reserved to adorn the apparel of our German friend, which, taken in connection with the present dimensions of his ears, will give him a fine appearance. We offer this as an amendment to our original motion to vote him a medal as a reward of merit. He certainly is entitled to some “pecuniary compliment” of this kind. What say you, Brother Lindeman, to the proposition?
Watertown Democrat, 03 22 1860
Common Council Proceedings
The following accounts were presented . . . John Haines for burying dead dogs, $15.00 . . .
Watertown Democrat, 04 12 1860
The Dog Law
An Act to regulate and license the keeping of dogs.
The People of the State of Wisconsin, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. Every owner or keeper of a dog shall on or before the first Tuesday of April in each year, cause it to be registered, numbered, described and licensed for one year, from that date, in the clerk’s office in the city, incorporated village or town where he resides and shall pay for such license one dollar for every male dog, six months old and upwards, and three dollars for every female dog six months and upwards. The license shall be issued and the money received by said clerk, who shall pay the same into the treasury of said city, incorporated village or town, to be used and appropriated with the other funds therein; and the clerk shall receive for each license so issued and collar stamped the sum of ten cents out of said funds. The treasurer shall keep an accurate and separate account of all sums received and paid out under the various provisions of this act, which account shall always be open to the inspection of any voter of the place.
SEC. 2. The owner of every dog so licensed shall keep a collar around its neck distinctly marked with the name of the owner, registered, numbered, and the year for which such dog is licensed, which date shall be stamped on said collar by the officer issuing said license, and for the purpose of enabling such officer to so stamp the collar with the year for which he shall issue a license as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the proper authorities of cities, incorporated villages and towns to furnish such officers with a proper stamp for such purposes.
SEC 3. Any person may, and every police officer, constable or marshal, shall kill or cause to be destroyed, all dogs going at large and not licensed and collared according to the provisions of this act; officers shall receive from the city or town treasurer twenty-five cents for each dog so destroyed and buried by them.
SEC. 4. Whoever shall remove the collar from the neck of a dog so licensed and collared, without the knowledge and consent of the owner, or steal a dog so licensed and collared, or shall alter the stamp on such collar, shall be punished by fine not exceeding fifty dollars.
SEC 5. The owner of any sheep or lambs suffering loss by reason of worrying, maiming or killing thereof by dogs, may present within thirty days after such loss shall come to his knowledge, to the Mayor or Alderman of the city, the President or Trustees of any incorporated villages or Supervisors of the town wherein the damage is done, proof thereof, and thereupon the said officers shall draw an order in favor of the owner of said sheep or lambs upon the treasurer of said city, incorporated village or town, for the amount of such loss. The treasurer shall register all such orders in full at the time of their presentation, and shall annually on the first Tuesday in April, pay all such orders in full if the gross amount received by said city, incorporated village or town, under the provisions of this act, up to such date, after deducting all sums previously paid out under such provisions if sufficient therefor; otherwise the treasurer shall divide said amount, after deducting as aforesaid pro rata among said orders and in full discharge thereof.
SEC. 6. Upon drawing an order as is provided in the foregoing section, the city, incorporated village or town may recover against the keeper or owner of any dog or dogs concerned in doing the damages, the full amount of the damages done.
SEC. 7. Whoever keeps a dog not registered, numbered, described and licensed according to the provisions of this act, shall forfeit the sum of five dollars to the use of the town, city or village wherein the dog is kept.
SEC. 8. Owners of dogs may at any time have them licensed until the first Tuesday in April succeeding upon payment to the clerk of the sums provided in the first section of this act, but such payment and license shall not exempt them from the penalties of the preceding section on any complaint already made.
SEC. 9. No new license for the then current year shall be required upon the removal of any licensed dog into any other town or city or incorporated village, unless the same be required by some law or ordinance passed under the provisions of the twelfth section of this act.
SEC. 10. The Mayor and Alderman of any city, President and Trustees of any incorporated village and the Supervisors of each town shall require all dogs not licensed and collared according to the provisions of this act, to be destroyed by poison or otherwise as they may ordain and shall enforce all the penalties herein provided.
SEC. 11. Any officer of any city, town or incorporated village, who shall refuse or neglect to perform the duties imposed upon him by this act, shall be punished by fine not exceeding twenty dollars for every twenty-four hours which he shall so neglect or refuse, which shall be paid into the treasury of such town, city or incorporated village . . .
Watertown Democrat, 04 12 1860
The Dog Law
We do not know but we were a little extravagant last week in the intimation we made that the Legislature of 1860 had done one good thing, and that was to adjourn. We think the next best thing it can be credited with is the passage of an act regulating and licensing the keeping of dogs, which we print in full, for the information of our readers, in another part of this paper.
We trust it will be generally read and its provisions faithfully observed by those whose duty it is to see them carried out. The third section, it will be seen, provides that “any person may” and that every police officer, constable or marshal shall, kill or cause to be destroyed all dogs going at large and not licensed and collared according to the provisions of this act. Section tenth makes it the duty of the mayor and aldermen to any city to see that the law is enforced, and the next section fixes the penalty imposed upon any officer refusing or neglecting to perform the duties devolving upon him. Although there has been a large number of dogs killed here recently, there is yet at least a thousand which should be served in the same manner. Let their owners either comply with the law, or let the dogs be slaughtered with as little delay as possible. Will the proper authorities see to it that one or the other of these things is done?
Watertown Democrat, 04 19 1860
The Dog Law is working admirably. A whole array of worthless curs of all sizes, varieties and conditions have rapidly disappeared from our midst and no longer infest every avenue and hang by the dozens around every corner. Now that provisions are made by law for taking care or destroying dogs, indiscriminate poisoning or killing them should stop. Those who comply with the law should have the full benefit of its protection. Those who do not, should be left to the consequences of their neglect and their dogs take the chances of escaping the vigilance of the public officers whose duty and interest it is to exterminate every unlicensed canine specimen that is running loose.
Watertown Democrat, 05 24 1860
The dogs still flourish in our community. To be sure, most of them are provided with a collar, name and number, but they run about nearly as numerous as ever. No less than two hundred and four have been registered in this city during the present Spring. Who would believe that over two hundred and twenty-five dollars would be paid to secure the existence of nearly as many useless creatures as ever drew breath, for we take it for granted that not one in ten is worth the food he eats for any purpose whatever. We have alluded to this subject to call attention to the fact that every one who keeps a dog unregistered is liable to a fine of five dollars for so doing. As there has been one or two cases in this city of parties being arrested for this offence, a hint may be sufficient to prevent any more such unpleasant incidents.
Watertown Democrat, 12 06 1860
An Ordinance in Relation to Dogs
The Common Council of the City of Watertown do ordain as follows:
Section 1. No dog shall be allowed to run at large in any part of this city without being safely muzzled with a secure muzzle.
Sec. 2. Every citizen shall have the right, and it is hereby made the duty of the Marshal, Deputy Marshal and Constables of this city, to kill all dogs that may be found running at large in this city, for the space of sixty days from the passage of this ordinance, unless the same shall be safely muzzled, as above provided.
Sec. 3. The provisions of an ordinance of this city against discharging firearms within the city limits shall not apply to persons engaged in carrying into effect the provisions of this ordinance.
Sec. 4. The Mayor of the city is hereby authorized, at any time after the expiration of sixty days from the passage of this ordinance, if he shall deem it necessary, to again enforce its provisions, to revive the same proclamation served upon the city marshal and posted up in at least one public place in each of the wards of this city.
Sec. 5. This ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage.
Passed, Nov. 17, 1860.
M. B. Williams, Mayor
A. D. Harger, City Clerk
Watertown Republican, 02 01 1861
The Board of Trustees in Horicon has passed an ordinance that all doges found running at large without a proper muzzle will be killed and their owners fined $5 for each offence.
Watertown Republican, 02 22 1861
A Pup and a Pig
The San Francisco Herald says that a gentleman in that city possesses a pup and a pig between whom warm friendship has arisen. Puppy is very assiduous in his attention to piggy, shares his food with him, gathers materials to form a bed for him, even stealing articles of clothing for the purpose, and shares his couch by day and night. By some strange instinct the dog seems to have discovered that piggy’s tastes in the article of food are different from his own, and he takes every opportunity to gratify the porcine palate with raw vegetables, apples and other articles not found in a canine bill of fare.
Watertown Democrat, 05 09 1861
T. H. Vesty
The claim of T. H. Vesty for damages sustained by dogs killing his lambs was referred to the Judiciary committee. Common Council Proceedings
Watertown Democrat, 05 23 1861
Dog Law is put in force
Notice is hereby given to the inhabitants of the town of Watertown and the owners of dogs therein that the Dog Law is put in force and that any person or persons not having their dogs registered according to law, on or before the first day of June next, will be prosecuted according to law with an additional fine of five dollars. By order of the Board of Supervisors. Watertown.
Watertown Democrat, 06 20 1861
The authorities of the town of Watertown have determined to enforce the dog law within their limits. Notice has been given to all owners to get their dogs registered or the penalties for neglecting this duty will be inflicted on all delinquents. This is right, only make the thing even.
Watertown Democrat, 09 07 1865
We learn that the dogs are making serious ravages on the sheep in this immediate neighborhood. One farmer just outside the city limits has had thirty killed this season, another fifteen, and in the town of Emmett, one man has lost an entire flock of twenty. These are only a few cases out of many constantly occurring, and they all come to us well, authenticated. At this rate the loss of thousands of sheep and thousands of dollars will result from this cause alone, and the evil is rapidly spreading. This increasing destruction of valuable sheep – many of rare and choice breeds – by worthless dogs, ought to be stopped at once, if any means can be devised to do it. Nine out of ten of these ravenous and prowling curs are a nuisance to the whole community and of no benefit to their owners. We are told that it is very seldom sporting dogs are guilty of sheep-killing, as they are generally more carefully kept and better trained. If the present dog law is not sufficiently stringent to prevent this destruction of property, then let us have an act that will. People have no business with dogs that make nightly raids on their neighbors’ sheep folds. Such dogs should be exterminated at once. They ought to be taxed out of existence, and the cost of keeping them made so heavy that none can afford to have them. If they are a luxury worth having, at the risk of injury to others, they are a luxury worth paying roundly for the privilege of indulging. Anybody ought to have the right to shoot down every unregistered, unmarked and untaxed dog found away from its owner’s premises or presence. The annual loss to the country from the stealthy depredations of thievish and mutton-eating dogs is enormous, and should be arrested immediately. Kill the dogs and save the sheep.
Watertown Republican, 10 12 1870
DOG-MATICAL CHICANERY — A month or so ago a couple of peddling chaps came into this city having a very handsome hunting dog which they offered for sale. The animal being a very desirable one for a sportsman it was purchased for a good round sum by Mr. Ed. Racek. Mr. Racek was just beginning to realize some pleasure from the ownership of the dog, when the former owner from Burnett, Dodge Co., came along a few days ago, and claimed his dog. It appears that it had been stolen from him a short time before Mr. R. purchased it, and several other good dogs were taken from the same locality at the same time. Mr. Racek was too much of a gentleman to keep the dog under such circumstances, and gave him up to the proper owner. From the tracks these fellows leave behind them they are evidently making a business of dog-stealing, for they had scarcely perfected the sale with Mr. R., when one of our citizens missed a splendid dog, and the animal has not returned home yet.
Watertown Gazette, 07 27 1883
The City Marshall gives notice that dogs found roaming about unmuzzled will be shot on sight.
Watertown Republican, 12 22 1897
The dog-poisoner seems to be abroad in the city with the set purpose of lessening the canine population, and in this effort of extermination dogs of high and low degree falI alike. Several of the fancy breed have succumbed lately, along with a sprinkling of curs. Joe Harvey’s fine pointer was among the list reported to have "bitten the dust” last week.
Watertown Gazette, 09 23 1892
Several valuable licensed dogs have been poisoned in the 4th and 5th wards. Poison has evidently been strewn around quite generally, and whoever is guilty of it should be hunted down and punished.
03 03 DOG OF GAZETTE EDITOR POISONED
I will pay $10 reward to the person who will furnish me with information which will lead to the arrest of the party who poisoned my dog shortly after 7 o’clock on Thursday evening, February, 23, 1899.
The guilty party, if found out, will get the full benefit of the law for such an offense. The law reads:
“Chapter 182, Section 4445. Any person who shall willfully, maliciously or wantonly kill, main, mutilate or injure any horse, mule, cattle, sheep or other domestic animal of another, or administer poison to such animal, or expose any poison, with the intent that the same maybe taken or swallowed by such animal; shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail no more than six months, or by fine not exceeding one hundred dollars.”
J. W. Moore, Editor Watertown Gazette. WG
03 10 IT HAPPENED AGAIN !
For the second time within two weeks some miserable cur has poisoned a dog belonging to the editor, a second one being poisoned last Wednesday afternoon just one week after being presented to me by one of our business men. I will pay the above reward ($25) to anyone who will furnish the information that will lead to the arrest of the guilty party, for whoever it may be certainly deserves punishment, and it will be meted out in homeopathic doses if the person is found out.
– JAS. W. MOORE WG
Watertown Gazette, 01 11 1901
Last Saturday and Sunday a dog owned by a west side party made life uncomfortable for quite a number of people, biting a number and attempting to bite others. Among those who were bitten are Chas. Frey, teller of the Merchants’ Bank; he was crossing Main Street when the dog jumped on him, knocked him down and then bit him in the leg. A son of A. Zimmerman, one of Ben. Zoelte’s sons, and three or four other boys were attacked and bitten. The animal also attacked a young girl, but Will Spear went to her rescue and drove the dog away. An animal of that nature should be killed at once without waiting for any undue ceremony.
Officer Eiffler found the dog dead on the Kimski premises in the Third ward, on Monday, and the supposition is that it had been poisoned just previous to attacking people. WG
Watertown Gazette, 07 15 1915
Kennel Owner Must Pay Tax on Each Dog
Madison, Wis., July 8
F. M. Wetter of Watertown is the owner of a dog kennel where he always has from 12 to 30 canines. The city of Watertown levies a dog tax which proved a great burden to Mr. Wetter, and he has appealed to the attorney general to learn if the city of Watertown has authority to levy a tax upon his dogs, as long as he keeps them closely confined and never permits them to be at large. Mr. Wetter would much prefer to have his dogs assessed as personal property.
Attorney General. W. D. Owen, in a letter yesterday to Senator Mulberger of Watertown, advised that the city of Watertown has a perfect right to levy a special tax upon the dogs, and that even though they were assessed as personal property, they would not, because of that fact, be exempt from the dog tax, for the reason that the latter impost is under the police regulations.
Watertown Daily Times, 12 18 1962
Watertown cats and dogs, subject of a proposed new ordinance under which they would be required to undergo inoculation against rabies every three years, came in for more discussion and wordage at last night’s common council committee meeting, but nothing definite was decided, although the measure is scheduled for consideration at tonight’s regular council session. For a time last night the proceedings sounded like a summit meeting with aldermen expressing their views and asking questions.
Widespread disagreement was evident. One alderman kept asking, “Even if we pass this ordinance, how are we gonna enforce it? Police have too many other things to do than to go around chasing cats.” Another added, “I’d like to see dogs and cats treated alike.”
It is not often that a newspaper chronicles the death of a dog, but as ex-Postmaster J. T. Moak's dog Fido was known to nearly every man, woman and child in Watertown, and to a large number of people outside the city as well, a notice of his death will not be considered out of place.
Last Tuesday night he entered his last sleep, the cause of his death being rheumatism and old age. For years he made daily rounds of the city with the mail carriers, and his friendly greeting was greatly enjoyed, especially by the juveniles of the city.
Watertown Daily Times, 02 07 1963
Watertown’s new cat and dog ordinance, so hotly discussed and argued in past weeks, today was headed for inclusion in the city’s laws and the next question is one of enforcement. The new measure was adopted by a 9 to 3 vote at Tuesday night’s common council meeting. Contrary to the belief of many, the new ordinance does not require that dogs or cats be immunized against rabies, as was proposed in the original revised version. That provision was dropped entirely after information was received stating that no cat vaccine has yet been developed which is completely successful or effective.
10 13 An ordinance to repeal and recreate a section of the city’s animal ordinance, regarding keeping animals and fowl within the city, was approved at its first reading. Limitations include making it unlawful to keep more than 10 rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, snakes, etc., or a combination of any 10 animals within the city. Permits are required for animals not listed in the ordinance, with approval of the city health officer who may also require an annual inspection of the premises where the animals are kept. Anyone in violation of the ordinance provisions is subject to a fine of at least $50 for each offense. “I hope the council will not pass this bill that make criminals out of law-abiding citizens,” said RoyAnn Webb, who has an indoor aviary. “Please remember the end of the pledge of allegiance words you just spoke, ‘and justice for all,’ and that includes people with animals.”
02 23 Stricter regulations proposed on ownership of certain breeds of dogs (pit bulls). WDT “In Times Square” column
100 Years Ago Dec. 15, 1907
A lover of dumb animals in this city called the attention of The Leader reporter to the fact that there was a great deal of cruelty to animals both in the country and in the city which should be stopped, and in many cases the law should be invoked, that those guilty of cruelty might be punished as they deserve. He mentioned several instances where poor cows were belabored with milking stools because they were restless or refused to give down as quickly and freely as the milkers thought they should. He also mentioned cases in the city where horses had been whipped and abused without cause and gave the names of the parties which are withheld for the present but, should it occur again, there will be trouble.
History of Watertown, Wisconsin