Somebody’s Pal

This cartoon by Craig Fox won the 1926 contest held by Our Dumb Animals–the first prize was $25 cash. It was originally published in both the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Rochester Herald in 1926, and was subsequently reprinted in Our Dumb Animals after it was selected as the winning entry that year.

In the foreground of the image is a young boy weeping over the body of his dog who has just been hit by a car. The boy tenderly touches the dog, an indication that these two were the best of pals. In the background is a large sign advertising Be Kind to Animals Week® and Humane Sunday, a message that seems to be lost on the driver of the car that struck the dog who is depicted saying “I should worry. IT’S ONLY A DOG!” as he continues to drive away, unconcerned about the sad scene playing out behind him. The words–“The Man Who Never Stops”–adorn the car’s back bumper.

Craig Fox, “Somebody’s Pal.” Cartoon published in the June 1926 issue of Our Dumb Animals. Collection of MSPCA Angell.

Craig Fox combines image and text to create a sense of empathy with both the boy and the dog in this image–anyone who had ever witnessed a beloved pet become injured or killed surely would have been touched by this cartoon. The contrast in human behaviours–between one who so clearly cares for animals, and one who is remarkably indifferent to them–pointed to the need for Humane Education and, as such, clearly supported the goals of the cartoon competition.

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