Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Michael Mizell-Nelson

Second Advisor

Dr. Connie Atkinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Dupont


During World War I, dogs held a contradictory place in American society. These animals functioned simultaneously as patriots, pets, and pests. This essay surveys the ways in which dogs either contributed to the war effort or seemed to subvert it through their uselessness as companion animals and their predation as feral ones. Ultimately, even worsening conditions on the homefront could not cause the American public as a whole to consider surrendering its affection for these animals, including the worthless ones. In the face of impending legislation that threatened to eliminate man’s best friend as a war measure, the American people successfully defended the dog, while citizens in several of the other warring nations could not afford to do so. American admiration for the patriot, combined with affection for the pet, outweighed anxiety over the pest.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.