Meet Ryder. The furry little guy was approved for $360 a week in unemployment benefits by the state of Michigan, according to his owner.
Apparently the state believes Ryder has been busy working at a Detroit-area restaurant. That is, until he was supposedly laid off.
“I got a letter from the [Unemployment Insurance Agency] on Saturday,” said Michael Haddock, Ryder’s owner. “I was surprised to see it, but I had a good laugh, actually.”
The letter was addressed to “Michael Ryder.” It listed the dog’s former employer as a restaurant chain in Detroit’s Rochester Hills.
“Not sure what he’s going to do with the money, but it should be interesting,” Haddock joked in a Facebook post. “I knew he was clever, but he surprised me on this one.”
News reports indicate West Michigan has been seeing an increase in fake unemployment claims. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency cofirmed to WZZM-TV 13 that its computer system had sent the letter to the Haddock address. But the claim was later flagged as suspicious.
The unemployment agency sent another letter to Ryder, denying his claim.
“Unfortunately, Michael Ryder’s claim will not be allowed,” Michigan UIA investigator Tim Kolar told the news agency in an email. “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.”