Is "Dogcatcher" an elected position anywhere?

I’ve heard the phrase “I wouldn’t elect that guy to be Dogcatcher!” This make me wonder: Is there any place in the USA, or even on the planet Earth, where that’s actually an elected office?

Not generally today but it was once a real elected position in many places.

There is only one town in Vermont that still does it that way today as far as I know.

“Duxbury’s dogcatcher is formally elected each year at “town meeting”, an annual mini-parliament that is held in towns across Vermont and New England, typically in early March. In places such as Duxbury, following traditions that date back to colonial times, all adult residents are invited to become legislators for a day, electing dozens of office-holders and debating the fine details of budgets, such as which brand of dump truck to buy.”

Not dogcatcher, but we do elect the following positions in my county so I wouldn’t be surprised. Is there really a D or R way to do an autopsy or file documents?
[li]Clerk of Courts [/li][li]Controller[/li][li]Coroner[/li][li]District Attorney [/li][li]Prothonotary[/li][li]Recorder of Deeds[/li][li]Register of Wills[/li][li]Sheriff[/li][li]Treasurer[/li][li]Jury Commissioners[/li][/ul]

Around here, the Water Reclamation District…

Well, you will find a few more if you search for elected “Animal Control Officers”, which is the more common term. Although, in in a vast majority of jurisdictions it is an appointed position. In Danville, NH, an animal control officer whose position was eliminated and delegated to the police, fought to have it become an elective position, and got herself elected:

(As an aside, it may be a bad idea to have the cops try to do animal control’s job. I’ve heard a few stories about havoc resulting when some cops decide to take care of what is more properly an animal control call.)

I remember voting for dog catcher when I lived in Schenectady in the mid-80s. Only place I’ve lived where such a position was on a ballot.

Oh yes, there are several districts around here which have elected positions separate from both city and county authorities. Most notably the school districts, but also the water districts, the sanitation districts (sewers), and the hospital districts.

Chief Animal Control Officer, I think it was in Fairfax City, VA where I grew up. Don’t know if they still do it.

Certainly there is a partisan way to do those jobs.

There was a big fuss caused recently when an elected official refused to file marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

Or ask any black family who had a relative who ‘committed suicide’ in a southern sheriff’s custody, according to the local coroner (despite the several bullets in his back).

And a coroner isn’t necessarily doing autopsies, either. In most places with an elected coroner, the guy who does autopsies is called a “medical examiner”.

Duxbury, Vermont. On the ballot.

Zeb Towne in Duxbury, VT was interviewed on NPR a few weeks ago.

We don’t elect coroners, but if we did I’d vote for the guy who could best sing the line “she’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead”.

Seems to me that except for a small village, the job of catching dogs would be too much to elect one person to do. Plus, that person would have more than dogs on his position description, he’d be the one rounding up cats and whatnot. Animal control officer makes more sense, but still why would you have this an elected position?

Some New Hampshire towns call the office by its colonial title, Hog Reeve. Traditionally, it would be appointed (not elected) annually, and go to the youngest man who had been married that year and was presumably fit enough to catch any stray hogs. Nowadays, it usually goes to the couple jointly.

Those jobs all have one thing in common: they maintain important social institutions, and rely on the trust of the public.
Dogcatcher, no so much.

Coroners have judicial functions; a similar logic which makes many jurisdictions elect judges or prosecutors also applies to coroners.

Not any more:

To be fair, Donald Trump MIGHT be semi-qualified to be a dog catcher.

The BTK serial killer was a dog catcher. But he was appointed rather than elected.

They have something in common that seems to have escaped most here…they are actually department heads with a staff. Most of those elected positions named in what you quoted simply run the staff that does the task, be it clerk or assessor…or animal control officer, if it’s elected. I’d say that animal control IS a social institution as well, and also as reliant on the public trust as any of the rest. I think what is hanging people up wrt this is ‘dogcatcher’, which implies some dude with a net out catching strays, but animal control is a fairly serious issue, especially in counties with more rural areas. It’s a fairly big deal in some of the counties in my state, though I don’t know of anyone elected to that position…it’s generally an appointment.