The ‘Other’ Max Shinburn, Jail House Dog

Max Shinburn’s legend lived on in Albany, or at least in the Albany jail – in the form of a jailhouse dog, owned by Jake Fulder, which went by the name of “Max Shinburn.”

On July 3, 1896, the Albany Morning Express hailed “The Name of Max Shinburn / Again Appears Upon the Records of the Jail. / But This is Another Max. / He is Not a Prisoner But A Well Liked Guest.”

“The name ‘Max Shinburn’ again appears upon a document on file in the Albany county jail. For many years the name of Max Shinburn has been connected with crime and at intervals has been recorded in the courts or upon the books of penal institutions . . . . it will, therefore, cause not a little surprise to learn that the name of Max Shinburn has again been filed in the county jail.

“To a few only was it known that during the sojourn of the original ‘Max’ in the jail there was also another Max. But there was, and what a difference there is between them! One was locked up and was kept under close surveillance and caused not a little trouble, while the other was given every liberty possible, never caused any trouble and afforded any amount of amusement. Both the ‘Maxes’ are cunning, but each in a different way. Singular, too, as it may seem, they hated each other so much that they watched each other instinctively, the one for a purpose, which he could never carry into effect and the other because he had been trained to it.

“After the unceremonious and somewhat humiliating manner in which Max No. 1 was taken from the jail, considerably more attention was given to Max No. 2. He was bathed and exercised regularly and everything went nicely until quite recently. When the jail officials recognized the necessity and propriety to observe the law, for such cases provided, and without the consent or knowledge of ‘Max Shinburn’ paid the sum of $1 in order that he might continue to live in contentment in the jail and take his evening strolls with Jailor Collopy. Pendent from his collar is a dog-tax tag, No. 1,615. The certificate bears the name of ‘Max Shinburn.’”

In 1897 the canine Max made news for finding his way up to the Watervliet police station, where he surprised a sergeant with a card on his collar that read “Max, Albany Jail.” “The sergeant was taken so by surprise that he had not prepared to entertain his visitor and he called the Albany jail by ‘phone. Watchman McCleman explained that Max, whose other name is Shinburn, was merely calling on his Troy friends and that he frequently rode to Troy on the boats. Max was sent to the capital city on the midnight local. If he calls again he will be treated with greater consideration.”

“When Max had a room at the jail it was his custom to go down to Keeler’s for breakfast. He went regularly as clockwork and always found a good, substantial meal awaiting him.” One day in June 1900, according to the Evening Journal, “Max strolled down Maiden Lane from North Pearl street, attracted in that direction perhaps by the aroma of the coffee and the broiling steaks. Max went on down to Broadway to see the crowds going away on the Grace church excursion. A belated excursionist, in hurrying for the train, fell near Max and the contents of his lunch box were scattered to the four winds. As soon as Max noticed that the owner of the lunch didn’t delay to pick it up he set to and ate what he liked and then complacently licking his chops strolled over Broadway to State and down South Pearl street to find his master.”

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