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Mad Dog Scare in Town of Dana

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 30, 1904

Mad Dog Scare in Town of Dana

A Crusade Against Dogs is On

Animal Runs Amuck (sic) Thru The Streets and Throws the Whole Town into a Frenzy of Excitement – Many Other Dogs Are Killed.

The annual cry of “mad dog” has started. Yesterday at Dana, a little town ont he Rock Island road about twelve miles south of Gowrie, a rabid dog sent the populace into a frenzy of terror by running amuck (sic) in the streets. Rumor reports several children were bitten more or less seriously and  numerous dogs were infected by bites of the mad animal.

The dog was finally killed and then began a search of the city for the animals which had received bites during the time he had been at large. At six o’clock in the evening a considerable amount of sausage material was lying loose and harmless around the city in the shape of defunct canines. Today the crusade is being continued with zest by the citizens and by sunset the dog that remains alive in that town will have to be able to show an indisputable alibi proving he was out of the neighborhood at the time of the outbreak and exhibit a health certificate from a veterinary into the bargain.

The town is thoroughly aroused over the matter. It is not known how long the animal had been showing symptoms of the disease, where he had been nor how many animals have been infected by its ravages. The people of the town will keep a close lookout and tremble at the approach of anything that looks like a dog for the next sixty days, or until there is no further possible danger from this source.

The disease, where contracted by infection, usually makes its appearance in the victim in the period of nine days. In some cases, however, the malady has been known to lie dormant in the blod (sic) for months and then at some unexpected time and place break out with as much sudden violence as though it had come at the usual time. The animal or person once bitten is not safe from an attack of the disease even after the lapse of months.

(Editor’s note: I had thought the reference in the last paragraph to an incubation period of months after being infected would prove to be an old wives’ tale. However, the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health states that the incubation period ranges from 10 days to seven years.)