Index dog catcher glad to be back

By LESLIE MORIARTY

Herald Writer

INDEX — Somebody must have let the dogs out.

After having been fired in March by former mayor Peter Gott, Index animal control officer Pete Davis was recently rehired.

Davis, who had served for 12 years as the animal control officer in the town of about 120 residents, is back on the job after being rehired by Mayor Kem Hunter.

Davis said he’s happy to be back on the job.

"I was a little reluctant to come back, I guess," he said. "But it (the job) was something that gave me a feeling that I was contributing to the community."

Davis said so far he hasn’t had to take any dogs to the Everett Animal Shelter.

"Most of the time I know who the dog belongs to, and I just take them home," he said. "I consider that I work for the animals here, not the people."

In was early last spring when Gott got into a spat with Davis over how he was enforcing the town’s animal control laws. So he fired Davis, who was making $150 a month for his work rounding up stray dogs and cats.

Gott said at the time that he was researching a possible shared animal control system with Gold Bar.

After five months with no animal control, Gott resigned as mayor. He did so after his attendance at council meetings was questioned.

When he resigned, he said he was sorry he fired Davis.

In the months that there was no animal control, the town didn’t go to the dogs, Davis said. Rather, someone let the cats out.

The town had developed quite a problem of too many cats. But he said it was discovered that the cats belonged to a woman who was ill and in the hospital.

"Her friends agreed to take her cats and care for them," he said. "So it looks like the cat problem is improving."

Hunter had planned a "cat roundup" for late November, but that has since been called off, Davis said.

Index requires that dogs and cats be licensed through town government. If they are not, or if dogs are found loose in town, a $25 fine is an option, Davis said.

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