The Great Cat and Dog Massacre is out now!
The sad tragedies of what happened to people during the Second World War are well known but too often the deaths of their own cats and dogs are frequently forgotten. At the start of the war in September 1939 there was much activity. Children were evacuated to the countryside, blackout curtains were made and even flower beds were starting to be dug up to create vegetable patches.
Yet what also occurred was different to the thousands of cats and dogs existing throughout the land. Politician Sir Robert Gower , who was also the president of the RSPCA , would argue that at the hands of people themselves nearly 750,000 pet animals were killed. Later the RSPCA and Brigadier Clabby, then author to the official history of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, could declare that a figure of 400,000 , representing around 26% of cats and dogs in London alone, were killed. Such deaths were more than six times the number of people’s deaths on the Home Front caused by enemy bombing during the entire war in the whole country.
These acts of killing were undertaken by people early in September 1939 taking their pet animals to vets and animal charities – for death.
Over the war years , as I refer to in my book and then later here, the government did much to ensure the status of dogs and cats. And many , many people looked after their own cats and dogs.
My latest book on The Great Cat and Dog Massacre. The Real Story of World War 11’s Unknown Tragedy has been published and the University of Chicago Press is covering the positive reviews from Britain and America in their adverts, though seem reluctant to advertise the positive review from Der Spiegel! You can buy the book direct from the press as well as in Amazon.