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History Monday: Mad Dogs Always a Concern

By Mike Watson

Growing up in rural Adair County afforded many exciting moments. There were instances of heavy rains and high water, snakes on the porch, falling tree limbs, skunks, bee swarms, and so much more, including the occasional strange dog in the neighborhood. An unusual canine always created murmurs of possible rabies and the animal would have to be checked on, and due process, if necessary, carried out. Mad dogs have always been of concern, for they may bite anything or anyone, as the following story from the The Courier-Journal of 19 March 1874 illustrates:

Man's Faithful Friend -- Fido in the Country -- A Lively Demand for Madstones -- Campbellsville, Ky., Letter, March 16, in the Lebanon Standard -- Rabid dogs seem to be abundant this season. We have had them here, and hear of them in several other localities. One in Green County has bitten many dogs and a number of cattle. Two or three persons have been bitten, among them William Clark, aged about 16, son of Thomas J. Clark, proprietor of the hotel at Greensburg.

On Monday Mr. Clark, with his son, was in Campbellsville making inquiries for a madstone. On learning that Rev. Richard W. Wallace, living in the vicinity of Cane Valley, Adair County, was the owner of one, they at once proceeded to his residence.

We learn that the stone, on being applied to the wound, adhered for a considerable length of time before dropping off. After being immersed in water it was again applied and again adhered for a time. On the third application it failed to stick, and the young man is supposed to be out of danger from hydrophobia from the bite of the animal.

The stone is very porous, and absorbed from the wound a green, a very poisonous looking liquid, which exuded from it after its immersion in tepid water, causing it to turn of a decidedly greenish, greasy color.

The names of other persons said to have been bitten in Green County we could not ascertain. The dog was followed a great distance by a number of citizens and was finally killed, but not until after it had bitten a considerable number of other dogs, the most of whom were afterward killed.

A Mad Cow on Her Muscle -- A mad cow, running at large on the highway, chased an individual, who made a narrow escape from the enraged animal. The cow then broke into an enclosure and made furiously at the owner of it, who happened to be walking that way. He made a narrow escape by jumping a fence. He hurled a stone at the cow which bursted one of her eyes, causing her to make off. We have not learned what became of her.

Another Mad Dog -- Another large-sized yellow and white spotted dog went mad on Casey's Creek, a week or more ago, and ran 'a-muck' from George Walker's to Plumb Point, and then up the river to the Widow Robinson's near Neatsville, where he was finally shot and killed. On the way a large number of hogs, dogs and other animals were bitten. The dog went with his head down, as if he was on a trail, but did not fail to bite everything that came near him. It is believed all the bitten dogs have been killed, but a number of hogs, some calves and one horse have been affected with rabies, all of which have died of the disease or have been killed.

A Mad Horse -- A citizen going to mill, in approaching a stream of water immediately discovered symptoms of madness in his horse. He at once threw his bag of corn from his back and rode him at full speed back to his stable, where the horse was taken with a severe fit, and was soon after shot to relieve him of his terrible agonies.

Dog Embargo at Campbellsville -- At Campbellsville, since the killing of several dogs in the forepart of last week, we have heard of no new cases. The matter has, however, assumed sufficient gravity to induce the trustees of the place to pass an ordinance requiring the owners of dogs to keep them confined, or, on failure, to have them shot by the town marshal. Owners of dogs living in the county permitting them to follow them to town are warned to keep them at home under a like penalty on failure. In pursuance of this order the town marshal dispatched a number of dogs on Saturday.

This story was posted on 2020-07-13 07:00:36
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