- small town news April 28
Even if many of us consider our pets to be part of the family, they're still not actually humans. Russell Hoyle, a dog owner in Britain, is in trouble with the police for allegedly registering his 9-year-old rottweiler Zeus to vote — a claim that he denies. The Stockton city council is accusing Hoyle of electoral fraud, and he faces hefty fines and possible prison time if convicted.
Hoyle told the Guardian that a census official came to his house and asked him who lived there. "There is myself and my wife. My son is not old enough to vote," he answered, and added jokingly, "We have got Zeus living here as well and he is 63 in dog years." A polling card addressed to Zeus Hoyle was delivered to the house soon after.
Hoyle asserts that he was in no way attempting to commit electoral fraud. "I am adamant that I didn't fill out the form. This whole thing was just a bit of a joke and now it has gone too far," he said. If convicted, filing false voter information with a electoral registration officer carries a six-month prison term.
The city council doesn't appear to be backing down.
"Though we appreciate that registering a dog to vote might seem amusing it is an offense to provide false information on an electoral registration form and we are obliged to refer cases like this to the police," a spokesman said. Hoyle must be interviewed by detectives at the city's police station. -- Jordan Valinsky
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