MR. EDITOR. - In order that persons keeping dogs may be under no misapprehensions with reference to the Tax on Dogs in the city of Parkersburg, and elsewhere in the county, I wish to say to those through your paper that the Tax imposed by the Ordinances of the city, is not the tax that I have advertised to be paid within thirty days from the date of the advertisement, but it is a county tax levied by the board of Supervisors, and if not paid within the time, the law directs the Constable to kill all dogs so delinquent, and that will be done without reference to the city tax, which is another, and a separate thing altogether; and again, others are under the impression that they pay the tax to the Sheriff with other taxes. This I wish here to correct, the Sheriff has nothing to do with it. See to it, that the tax is paid before the 7th of September if you want to save your dog's hide.
G.K. Leonard, Cl'k. Board of Supervisors. Aug. 24
Photo provided by Bob Enoch
As is evidenced in the photo of the Newport Baseball team, dogs were welcome in the photographer’s studio. However, as these news clips attest, they were not always welcome on the streets of Parkersburg. The Newport team, pictured circa 1905, was from the area at the south end of the old Juliana Street bridge.
Parkersburg Daily Times
Sept. 5, 1865
Our city is over run with worthless curs who make the night hideous by their unearthly yells. They appear to devote their particular attention to the corner of Market and Pike street (Seventh) where they congregate for musical exercises nightly. Notices are posted on the St. corners notifying the owners that if the tax is not paid within a certain date that their dogs will be killed. If the law is carried out as per notice, many a carcass of an unfortunate doggy will take the place of the now living.
Parkersburg Daily State Times
Sept. 5, 1865
More About Dogs
However the law may be, the whole business is outrageous.
A poor boy who is not able to pay a tax on his dog, loves him just as dearly as the rich boy loves his thoroughbred.
I overheard a little fellow the other day telling is schoolmate that his father had killed one of his dogs on account of the tax and a "cop" had killed the other one. He did not say for what reason. Poor boy! Bereft of two dear friends in one day! It seems a trifle to older folks, but pets are real friends to children. Besides the cruelty of it! A man, even a policeman, must have a very strange nature to consent to go on such an errand, to shoot a dog who has been a faithful friend to its owner, to shoot him in cold blood, simply because a certain amount of money has not been paid to somebody. Who wants the blood money from such a source? And the poor dog - as he looks unsuspectedly up at the one who is about to take his life, what does he know about taxes? He can only plead his cause by doing his duty, guarding the house by day and night, from enemies who seek to do mischief.
I think it would be a good idea to have a few chapters from "Beautiful Joe" of "Loveliness" read to those who are so eager to kill the untaxed dogs.
Parkersburg Daily State Journal
June 2, 1900
Rover Budd: Famous in the annals of the fire department, leaves the city presumably for good
Rover Budd, the great black dog belonging to Mr. and Mrs. George Budd, and which animal has lead the hose reel in mad dashes to more fires than any dog in the city is gone. He was sent away last night, traveling over the Inter-Urban to Williamstown and from there several miles back into the country via of the farm wagon route, to the home of a Mr. Russell, where an effort will be made to induce him to stay for the remainder of his days. He is now about twelve years of age but is as full of fight as many dogs not half his age.
The old dog will be missed by the boys of the fire department as a fire was never complete without Rover Budd was there. No matter how good or soundly he may be sleeping, at the first clang of the fire alarm bell he was out and away for the department, generally reaching there in time to head the reel on its way to the scene of the blaze.
However, it is a safe guess that two days, probably less, will see Rover back on his old familiar stamping grounds and awaiting the clang of the fire alarm as of old.
Parkersburg Daily State Journal
Feb. 4, 1903
The Wood County Historical Society works to preserve yesterday for tomorrow. For more information, contact P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102