News Item

This four-panel cartoon was published on the occasion of Be Kind to Animals Week® in 1941. It uses the technique of role reversal to ask viewers how they would like to experience some of the cruel treatment that many nonhuman animals experienced on a regular basis. For example, the second panel warns about the dangers of leaving a dog confined during warm weather. The image in this panel shows a dog standing up on his hind legs, shutting his human companion in a hot car. The dog appears to be indifferent to the human who is clearly suffering, telling him to “lie down and be quiet.”  In the event that the message of this image is lost on the viewer, it is further reinforced by the words “TRY IT IN THE SUN YOURSELF FOR A FEW MINUTES.”

Cartoon published in the June 1941 issue of Our Dumb Animals. Collection of MSPCA Angell.

The final panel depicts a number of animals asking the viewer to consider being compassionate towards animals all the time, not just during Be Kind to Animals Week®. This final panel was used in other Humane Education contexts, including on a Be Kind to Animals Week® blotter from 1942.

Return to Cartoons


  1. I do not know what dog plucking is, but it’s pitiful to realize that seventy years later, people still don’t get it and leave their dogs in hot cars and let them go without water on a summer walk. BTW, dogs’ skulls are very thin, like infants’ skulls, and they are particularly susceptible to heat stroke. It’s a good idea not just to make sure that your dog has drinking water on a hot day outdoors, but also to wet down his head, back, and paws every so often.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: