Yes, you read that right: A dog named Ryder, who lives with his owner Michael Haddock and family in Saugatuck, Michigan, received a letter from the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency on Saturday, reports WZZM13 ABC News. Ryder apparently qualifies for $360 per week in unemployment funds.
The official document is addressed to “Michael Ryder,” and the dog’s employer is listed as a restaurant chain in the greater Detroit area.
Haddock, who says he was surprised but had a good laugh over the letter, posted a photo of it on Facebook.
“Not sure what he is going to do with the money, but it should be interesting,” Haddock wrote. “I knew he was clever, but he surprised me this time.”
While the letter from UIA is real and the agency admits its computer system sent it to Haddock and Ryder’s address, a rep says it was quickly flagged as suspicious at the next step of the unemployment process. Staff denied the claim, and they did get a laugh out of the scenario.
“Unfortunately, Michael Ryder’s claim will not be allowed. I know first-hand it is rare for ‘man’s best friend’ to contribute financially to the household and that will continue in this instance,” Tim Kolar, State Administrator of Investigations, UIA, told WZZM13.
In light of the clearly fraudulent claim, a practice which Michigan UIA says is on the rise, the agency announced on Tuesday that it will create a special investigative unit in hopes of catching this identity thief (or thieves) and others before they manage to steal any money.
In the meantime, Haddock continues to have a bemused attitude about the situation. When asked what kind of job his dog might have at a restaurant, he supposed Ryder would make a good “greeter” or host.
We can’t argue with that, but we do have another suggestion as well: dishwasher.