Chapter 11 Allies or Enemies? Dogs in the Streets of Lisbon in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

In: Science, Technology and Medicine in the Making of Lisbon (1840–1940)
Inês Gomes
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The building of Lisbon landscape unveils the entanglements between humans and non-humans in shaping urban development. Nature has impacted upon cities, not only in bestowing natural resources on residents, but also in playing a dramatic destructive role in threatening urban order and human lives. Dogs illustrate this duality, being, at the same time, city inhabitants, friends of residents, and invaders, rabies-prone, and a danger to humans.

This chapter seeks to identify and describe the actions of actors who addressed urban problems, and the daily life management of the Lisbon dwellers associated with the interactions between dogs and urban society taking place in the growing city of Lisbon (Portugal) in the second half of the nineteenth century, when the friendly and useful dog became a true enemy for human health. Different visions collided regarding the measures to be taken to control stray dogs which were potentially rabies-prone, and no consensus emerged. Tensions among various agendas helped to outline approaches to public health. Dogs shaped the city space and the practices of city inhabitants over time in a context of political efforts taken to control and exclude them.

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