This post originally appeared on this blog in August 2007.
Queen Victoria put the "royal" into the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and yet she also employed a professional rat catcher by the name of Jack Black who not only supplied rats to the pits, but who was also the first collector of odd-colored rats that were later bred for dedicated medical research.
Queen Victoria had a phenomenal number of dogs around her -- dachshunds and collies, various types of terriers, pugs, and pomeranians, to name just a few breeds.
The picture above shows Prince Louis of Hesse, Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria, Alicky, Ernst of Hesse, Duchess of Connaught and daughter with three white foxing terriers (what we would call "Jack Russells" today) of the type that were common in her day.
The dogs are, from left to right, "Wat", "Gay Girl" and "Spot".
The photo, below, was taken at Balmoral in October of 1882. The Reverend Jack Russell would die the next year.
Queen Victoria, Arthur, Beatrice and Spot, Balmoral in 1876