Movies Way Back When: War Dogs

By Betsy J. Green

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the Army recruited horses and dogs to be sent to aid the conflict in Europe.

Dogs helped haul equipment and delivered messages. “Flying A” actor William Russell donated one of his dogs.

“The latest animals to sign up for relief of their relatives at the front being the six-month old Russian wolfhound belonging to William Russell of the American Film Company.” – “Santa Barbara Morning Press,” June 18, 1918

Betsy’s Way Back When book — Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the seventh book in her series on the history of Santa Barbara. Learn more at​.


Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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