Mug shot: A photograph of someone’s face especially one made for police records. The word ”mug shots” comes from the British slang word “mug” meaning “face.”
Pep “The Cat-Murdering Dog” was a black Labrador Retriever admitted to Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania on August 12, 1924.
According to prison legend, Pep was sentenced to life without parole after killing Governor Gifford Pinchot’s wife’s cat. The governor used his executive powers to hand down this unusual sentence. The legend seems to hold some truth as prison records list Pep’s inmate number as C-2559.
However, the governor’s son tells a different story of Pep’s time in the prison. Pep was a gift to the governor’s family by a nephew. The family enjoyed their time with Pep but it was overshadowed by his instance on ripping up cushions. The governor thought there could be another use for Pep that was not so destructive. So, he took the dog to the prison to be used as a therapy dog.
Regardless of the actual reasoning behind Pep’s time at Eastern State Penitentiary, he was loved and treated well by the prisoners. After about a decade, Pep died of natural causes and was buried at the prison.
Whether guilty of cat-killing or acting as a therapy dog, Pep’s mug shot shows him to be guilty of something – stealing our hearts!