Download Full Text (16.9 MB)

Download Table of Contents (176 KB)

Download Foreword (137 KB)

Download Introduction (106 KB)

Download Part One: The Corporations of Washington and Georgetown (1791-1871) (856 KB)

Download Part Two: The Territorial and Early Commissioner Period (1871-1912) (8.7 MB)

Download Part Three: The Later Commissioner Period (1913-40) (4.3 MB)

Download Afterword: What Happened to Them All (2.0 MB)

Download Appendix A: Basics of District of Columbia History (308 KB)

Download Appendix B: Laws Relating to Animal Control (347 KB)

Download Appendix C: Statistical Compilations (723 KB)

Download Appendix D: Textual and Other Materials (438 KB)

Download Bibliography (231 KB)

Download Notes on Sources (212 KB)


Mangy Curs describes: the efforts of the DC government to corral stray animals (farm animals and pets) from streets and parks (police and the pound service); issues of cruelty to animals in public places (Humane Society); sheltering strays, mostly dogs and cats (Animal Rescue League, others); and collection of dead animals from the streets (contractors, city crew). It is the only study on this subject ever written.

The text runs about 260 pages (with illustrations) and a further 100 pages of appendixes (complete list of DC laws/regulations/ court decisions regarding animals, 40 pages of statistics, plus anecdotes and miscellaneous side topics such as pet stores, letters to the police about animals, protecting animals during wartime raids). The text is laden with amusing anecdotes (taking up Pres. Grant’s cow, furious mobs of hog owners attacking the pound wagon) and contemporary observations (“A dog is as dirty as a boy”).

Publication Date



Hayden M. Wetzel


Washington, DC


Animal Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance

Mangy Curs and Stoned Horses: Animal Control in the District of Columbia from the Beginnings to About 1940