News Letter demands action on “useless dogs” (August 1824)

The News Letter reported during this week in 1824 that on the previous Thursday (July 29), the Reverend J Rogers of Caseum near Loughbrickland, Co Down, had been driving his jaunting car, accompanied by Mrs Rogers, the Reverend Brotherston and Mr Porter, when about a mile from his home a dog attacked so furiously that “he plunged and kicked violently”.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 10:36 am
Straw bales near Loughbrickland. Picture: Alan Hopps, Markethill
Straw bales near Loughbrickland. Picture: Alan Hopps, Markethill

The dog gave the horse a bit which rendered him “quite unmanageable” that he completely kicked himself completely out from the car and harness, which were “considerably injured”.

The Reverend Rogers was able, “with considerable difficulty”, to prevent the horse from running away, “otherwise it might have proved fatal to the whole party”, who remained in the car until the last moment. Mrs Rogers was the only one of the party who was seriously injured in the incident.

Commenting on the incident, the News Letter stated: “The above is one of the many instances of the kind which occur almost daily, and demand immediate attention of the magistrates in order to prevent serious accidents which may arise from similar causes.”

The News Letter added: “The useless dogs that are kept by many of the peasantry are a public nuisance, and detrimental to the industry and morality of the youth of the country, who lose a great deal of valuable time in amusements with dogs.”