1896: Call to Ban ‘Murderous Bulldog’ Chicago

The Murderous Bulldog
Daily Inter Ocean
June 6, 1896

The Murderous Bulldog.
Within the past two weeks three causes, additional to the multitude theretofore existing, have been assigned in favor of the passage of an act prohibitory of the keeping of bulldogs in any populous district.
In Chicago an engaging child of some three summers was mangled by one of these brutes. She was walking on the street, the animal was led in a leash by a young man, but in the unprovoked ferocity that is characteristic of its race it sprang forward and seized and mangled the infant …
A day or two ago, and in the civilization of Chicago, a fellow infinitely more brutal than the low-grade beasts that he owned, first knocked his wife down, and then set two bulldogs on her. The poor woman was nearly worried to death before strangers arrived and rescued here. It is just such fellow as this wife-beater that delight in the company of bulldogs
In Racine a 7-year old boy, returning peacefully from school, was attacked and killed by two bulldogs. When the corpse was found, some hours after the murder, both ears were torn off, one arm devoured, the scalp frightfully lacerated, and an eye scratched out. The bulldogs were tracked to a neighborhood barn and found licking their bloody jaws.
There is no rational excuse for the maintenance of such canine monstrosities in any populous district. They are as dangerous as dynamite or smallpox or any other of the minatory things that the police power of municipalities is evoked to repress and eliminate. An ordinance prohibitive of such animals within the city limits is well worthy the consideration of the council.

The bulldog of the late 1800s and early 1900s is the same dog as today’s pit bull terrier. The only thing that has changed about this dog breed in the last century are the different names it goes by: bulldog, pit dog, bull pit, bull terrier — pit bull terrier. Modern dogfighters still call their fighting pit bulls “100% bulldog.” (See: Disguise breed name)
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