I have more dogs than are strictly necessary (three). I keep them on leash, pick up after them, license them regularly, etc. So, this notice in the Idaho Statesman from June 10, 1911 caught my eye. It was datelined Nampa. “The dogcatcher is abroad in this city and acting under the mandates of the city council, urged to duty by the mayor and supported by the police department, a special officer has been detailed to enforce the law relative to taxation on dogs. The tax price is $3.50 for male and $5 for female dogs and any dog not wearing the tax collar will be summarily dispatched to happy hunting grounds after a short campaign in which each dog owner will have opportunity to pay up.”
This was apparently written in the days when it cost extra to insert an occasional period in a news story.
Several Idaho papers, including the Elmore Bulletin, carried a story about dogcatchers in Chicago in 1893. The short version is that they chased this big dog all over the city before finally capturing him and determining that he was a wolf.
The Wood River Times had a short opinion related to dogs and those who ought to catch them: “There are too many dogs in town for the public good. They annoy horsemen, teams and especially ladies on horseback, create disturbance with every strange dog visiting the town, keep peaceable people awake of nights, infest restaurants and public places, and are an intolerable nuisance. The dog-catchers should be started out.”
Stories about dogcatchers were often played for humor. In 1934 the Statesman ran the headline “Boise Mutts Yap Joyfully As Council Cans Dogcatcher.” It was a temporary budget move.
There were about as many stories intimating that someone couldn’t get elected dogcatcher as there were legitimate stories about dogcatchers. So, they may be able to catch dogs, but one thing dogcatchers can’t catch is a break.