We begin with Betty Jo playing with her dog, the always unnamed foundling, only here we see the county dog catcher hiding in the bushes with the proverbial net trying to capture the dog. We see him just miss a few times, then chase the dog into the hotel lobby where the dogcatcher, identified as Hinky Mittenfloss, played by Percy Helton, is chased off by Kate, who pulls a shotgun from under her front desk and points it at him.
It seems some farmers are losing chickens and because the Bradley's carelessly let their dog run around the valley at night, he is thought to be the culprit. So that night they, of course, let him out again "to visit his lady friends" (another problem we won't get into) and the next thing we know is that the dogcatcher returns in the morning with a story about farmer Luther Craig reporting that three of his chickens were killed and he saw a dog running from his hen house.
Enter the Shady Rest dog, covered with chicken feathers. Hinky takes him into custody. The next scene is at the dog pound where the visiting Bradleys (only Kate, Betty Jo, and Uncle Joe are seen in this episode, not the other sisters, who aren't even mentioned) are led to the "solitary" cell, where the dog is held, complete with a ball and chain on him, even though he's in the cell.
With a Green Acres type of silliness, the family visits a lawyer (this aired only months before the arrival of Oliver Douglas in the valley) who tells of a case in 1897 where a dog can sometimes be permitted a trial. He insists that Kate act as lawyer, telling her she can do as well as him, somehow.
The key scene is a wild courtroom scene that includes a Perry Mason-like demonstration to discredit a witness, a "soil expert" who makes a conclusion about mud obtained from the farm in question exactly matching farm he scrapes off Arnold Ziffel (the pig) by simply looking at the two in his hands for a couple of seconds, and "testimony" from the dog himself, answering Kate's questions.
I won't give away any of the surprises near the end. I will say that this episode was reasonably funny, in a Green Acres type of manner. I can see fans of this series thinking it was one of the funniest episodes, and other fans thinking it was REALLY stupid. If you are not bothered by large portions of the show seeming unrealistic, you might think this a very good episode. If you like the Junction crowd better when they behave more like real people, this would probably be a good one to skip. As one who loved the wild characters of Green Acres, I enjoyed it enough to give it a 6 out of 10.
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