In the doghouse


Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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Daniel, I wonder if the kennels were intended mainly (or only) for unaccompanied animals. Two dogs, for instance, are shown on the Contract ticket list with their own tickets for the cross-channel journey (along with a canary, which had no ticket but travelled for five shillings!)

Could there have been other candidates for the kennels? Does anyone know the White Star rulings about onboard pets? I assume the immigration authorities did not allow the (official) import of animals by steerage passengers, but what about 2nd Class?
 
Jul 11, 2001
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Oh come on now. The dogs must have been kept near the stern. ____________________near the
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Poop deck of course. LOL.. sorry, couldn't resist that!
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 31, 2004
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I was reading Helen Bishop's account and I caught something that I had not noticed before.

I think she probably gave the most definitive evidence as to where the dog kennels where. She says, 'The steward wouldn't let me take her to the butcher. He said she was too pretty, and she was the only one allowed to stay in the cabin.'

She was very specific in saying the butcher which means to me that she was either
A. Informed in advance that the kennel would be by the butcher
or
B. The steward told her where the dog would be kept.

Mike
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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Ships' butchers certainly were responsible for feeding the dogs (and other carnivorous livestock) carried. One butcher who served on the Queen Mary in the '30s told how he visited the kennels on the sun deck twice daily with rations of cooked meat and brown bread - and that whilst his customers were usually dogs he had at times been required to feed exotics like big cats and even snakes!

The Shipping regulations of the time were quite vague about the carriage of animals other than farm livestock on passenger liners. They did specify that no more than 6 dogs could be carried as cargo, and that 'proper arrangements' should be made for their housing, maintenance and cleanliness. It was the responsibility of emigration officers at the port of clearance to ensure that such arrangements were in place, but it isn't clear just what kind of arrangements would have been considered proper, other than a general requirement that the health and safety of passengers (specifically in steerage) should not be compromised.

I'm of the opinion that such considerations would probably have required that any animals which were taken literally to the butcher would have been confined in a designated compartment (if on a lower deck) until the ship docked. The task of driving a small herd of nervous animals past the 3rd Class food preparation areas and up and down numerous stairways to get to the open decks for regular exercise would surely have been as much a health risk for the passengers as a problem for the animals and their handlers.

I imagine that the dogs in the kennels (wherever they were located) would have been those travelling unaccompanied as 'cargo', plus any that were housed there at the request of a passenger. Helen Bishop's pet was not of course the only dog 'allowed' to stay out of the butcher's hands, but any steward with an eye to a good tip would not want to dispel that impression!
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