A few years ago, a dogfood producer, Buckeye Feed wanted to use two bloodhounds used by the State Forestry Division in West Virginia in an advertisement. In return for their doing so, Buckeye Feed would pay them in dogfood. Unfortunately, the State Ethics Commission forbade the deal from going through, saying that the dogs were state employees and as such were not permitted to receive any considerations of this type.
It was too bad that the State Forest Division could not get some publicity for their dogs as well as the modest savings in dogfood that the bloodhounds consumed. And, of course the dogfood company could not use them in the commercial. It seemed like a little overreaction on the part of the Ethics Commission.
But they could have also opened a Pandora's box. If the bloodhounds are state employees, might they be entitled to other benefits that a state employee might have, such as medical (well, veterinarian) insurance, a pension, and days off on official state holidays? And, for longer-serving ones, perhaps a birthday greeting from the Governor?
If they work long enough to be eligible for a pension, should the period of eligibility be reckoned in dog years? If the typical state employee works for 30 years, then that would come to 4.28 human years are 30 dog years.
Bloodhounds typically live for an average of 6.75 years, making them one of the shorter-living breeds. Oh well, this might allay the actuarials' anxieties about large numbers of bloodhounds living on public pensions and draining the funds.
But as the bloodhound on the job in the picture below indicates, sometimes their jobs are disagreeable. That would be especially true of cadaver-finding dogs.