The California Gold Rush brought not only people to the gold fields but dogs as well. These canines served foremost as companions to miners, and as beasts of burden, hauling sledges and carts full of ores. By the time the Gold Rush was over, thousands of these animals, now abandoned by their owners, were roaming the streets harassing horses, attacking women and children, fighting with each other, and howling and barking. In some cities, such as Los Angeles, they outnumbered humans by nearly two to one.
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Bummer and Lazarus ambling along Montgomery Street. Illustration by Edward Jump.