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An animal control officer (also, more informally: dog catcher or dog warden or ) is an employee of, or a contractor to, a municipality, charged with catching stray or loose dogs, cats, and sometimes other animals, and bringing them to a compound or animal shelter, where the animals are held for a certain time before being returned to their owners, put up for adoption, or euthanized. Animal control departments are also responsible for investigating incidents of human contact with both wild and domestic animals, such as bites. They usually work with Health Departments to ensure the health of humans injured by animals.
Variations of the historical phrase "I wouldn't vote for him for dogcatcher" or "He couldn't run for dogcatcher in this county" refers to an individual so poorly regarded that the individual in question is not fit to be elected to even a trivial position of public trust. In actuality, this position is usually an appointed one in localities that have a dedicated full-time animal control officer.
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