Dogs could also be a person’s greatest good friend, however cats are a detailed second. That’s what makes this story from 1916 significantly unhappy and horrifying.
The 1916 New York City polio epidemic was a daunting interval for residents of the Big Apple. A extreme outbreak noticed a number of 1000’s of individuals affected by the illness starting in June of 1916 and lasting via the winter. The borough that was most carefully affected was Brooklyn. The illness claimed over 2,000 lives throughout this era.
Hysteria over the virus — which shouldn’t be that arduous to fathom given our recent historical past — was at an all time excessive. And naturally, when most of these issues occur, there turns into a form of psychological want to put blame. Who or what’s the perpetrator? We did not know… however some folks thought they did.
According to Wikipedia, many theories concerning the sickness circulated:
…folks believed that contaminated sharks introduced germs to America as a result of poisonous air they inhaled in Europe in the course of the warfare. Others suspected the trigger was permeated by vehicle exhausts, sewers, rubbish, and different animals and bugs.
The Department of Health thought of family pets as carriers and spreaders of the polio virus. This turned out to be false. But that did not cease town from euthanizing 1000’s of pets out of concern.
The New York Times reported that between 300 and 450 animals had been killed per day. And though 1000’s of dogs had been additionally killed, cats obtained the harshest remedy, with roughly 72,000 cats slaughtered by the top of July 1916.
As circumstances began subsiding in November of 1916, so did public concern. But for 1000’s of harmless animals, it was already too late. Far extra animal deaths occurred on account of senseless hysteria than had been really misplaced to polio itself.
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