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Sunday, October 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Quarantine ordered for dogs in Eastern Washington in response to feared rabies outbreak

A quarantine was in effect against unmuzzled, free-running dogs in Spokane and nine other Eastern Washington counties, The Spokesman-Review reported March 3, 1917. (Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)
A quarantine was in effect against unmuzzled, free-running dogs in Spokane and nine other Eastern Washington counties, The Spokesman-Review reported March 3, 1917. (Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)

A quarantine was in effect against unmuzzled, free-running dogs in Spokane and nine other Eastern Washington counties – yet The Spokesman-Review reported that “unmuzzled dogs cavorted gleefully in the downtown district.”

“One little brown spaniel was enjoying himself in a snow bath on Sprague Avenue,” reported the paper.

The state veterinarian had issued the quarantine in order to protect against a feared outbreak of rabies among dogs and coyotes. However, the local humane officer (dog-catcher) had taken no action as the result of the order, which he called inhumane.

One state agricultural official bemoaned the lack of cooperation by the humane society and said it was imperative that the disease be controlled.

The state Department of Agriculture was planning a “big drive on coyotes,” which it said had been causing considerable trouble among sheep bands. Farmers were urged to “put out poison and to otherwise make war on predatory animals.”

From the train beat: James T. Scott, from Texas, hopped the baggage car of the Columbian, the electrified Milwaukee Road train near Avery, Idaho. He decided to climb on top of the electric motor for warmth. He was immediately shocked with 3,000 volts. His left arm and leg were “virtually incinerated” and he was not expected to live.

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