19 DECEMBER 1885, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR OF TYE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—There seems to be a rather general impression among persons who disapprove of the present order for muzzling dogs that it has not resulted only from the scare about hydrophobia. Many people think that it has been suggested by the fact that the Revenue has not been assisted, as it ought to be, by the payment of the dog-tax. Most working-men who keep dogs never think of paying the tax. Their dogs run wildly about the streets, picking up all kinds of garbage, and often in want of water. These are much more likely to become vicious, or mad, than dogs in the possession of those who can take care of them, and who are responsible for their not doing mischief.

I would suggest that no dog should be allowed to run in the streets without a collar, having a badge with the owner's name and true address ; and in addition to this, a small mark to be affixed to it each year when the tax is paid, so that the four- footed bearer may be seen to be an accredited and well-con- ditioned animal. This is the practice in some German towns. It might perhaps be well to appoint an Inspector to ascertain from time to time whether every dog has its true label.

A very large number of poor stray dogs have been lately taken to the Dogs' Home, and, it is to be hoped, destroyed. There can be no reason why the remainder, all those who have owners and homes, should be made to endure the infliction of the wire-muzzle, a very distressing restraint at the best, but likely, in the hands of careless persons, to become a real torment, and if neglected and left on the poor animals' mouths, a cause of disease and starvation. May I ask whether, during the alarm about hydrophobia, any doctor has thought of applying a cupping-glass at once to the bite, whenever it is possible P Suction has been found as effectual, or more so, than cauterisation ; and cupping, which might be had at the nearest chemists' shops, is easier to obtain and more effectual