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Letter- Thoughts on dog catcher

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the story last week about the beleaguered dog catcher situation in the town of Hudson. It turns out I was one of the last publicly elected dog catchers in the town of Hudson. The board several years back determined that dog catching has simply become too complicated for mere civilians to perform.

At the peak of my canine fighting career I was pulling down a cool $150 an month in salary; not exactly chump change for a debt ridden farm boy. Next thing I knew the conservative, Republican leaning township board, following the lead of W. and Dick Cheney, gleefully went ahead and privatized local dog catching!

A no bid, contractor written, $1300 a month plus expenses added, automatically renewable contract was awarded to a Blackwater-ish dog catching machine. The lowly dog catcher institution has been kicked to the curb. The intrusion of the military-industrial complex Ike Eisenhower warned us of must now be nearly complete, we have private mercenary armies fighting our international wars and our local stray dogs. Surely, Ike rolls in his grave. Unfortunately on both fronts, these over-zealous and complicated schemes have come unleashed (that was a pun) and are ending unpleasantly for all involved.

This whole dog catching affair at first reminded me of a Festus Hagen or Gilligan like TV episode, but further analysis confirmed it had a much more Barney Fife quality. I doubt however, the residents of Mayberry would quietly tolerate such blatant disregard of a contract by their local employee. Mr. Fife would also have had the decency and humility to turn in his badge (reluctantly) and apologize to the whole town. Then they would all go to Aunt Bea's and have pie!

Speaking of Barney Fife, did that Hudson cop ever get his "missing" gun back? Any info on that would be much appreciated.

I have to wonder if this was a planned conspiracy to fatten everyone on the dog catching gravy train (another pun). The head dog catcher makes around $1300 a month, plus a 'company' phone with extra call forwarding features, whether he catches a dog or not. The second in command makes something less as salary but collects mileage plus expenses of around $50 for every dog impounded. The back up dog catchers wife, the town treasurer, receives around a 50 cents per head stipend on every licensed dog in the township. It seems plausible the big shot could simply be happy with his guaranteed $1300 and let the second stringer bulk up on all the actual dog catching operations.

This would make it easier for the Top Dog catcher to double dip into the public dog dish by maintaining another full time, on call job with say, the Hudson Police Dept. I think all this needs to be investigated by the F.B.I. or Michelle and Sarah could simply confirm that yes, this is what crony capitalism looks like.

Pat Kinney

(formerly known as the world's worst dog catcher)

Town of Hudson