Date of Award
Dr. Michael Mizell-Nelson
Dr. Connie Atkinson
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.
Laurence, Alison G., "Patriot, Pet, and Pest: America Debates the Dog's Worth During World War I" (2013). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1644.