People who fail to get a TV licence are pointing the finger of blame at pets in outlandish bids to avoid punishment, TV Licensing has said.
Almost 350,000 TV licence evaders have been caught so far this year
Recent excuses include the dog eating the document, and that it was lost when being used to line a snake's cage.
Officers have also been told the TV was "for the dog", and its owners refused to pay.
A TV Licensing spokeswoman said "some people will always try to bluff their way out" of trouble after being caught.
In keeping with the animal-related excuses, one person said the TV had been broken since "my daughter tried to feed the kittens on Rolf's Animal Hospital".
But it seems that the family pet is not the only culprit as far as licence fee dodgers are concerned.
Other reasons for not being properly covered by a licence have included a viewer who said her son had "stopped making payments as he's gone off with someone he met on the Internet".
And another viewer reasoned: "I don't need a TV licence because I only watch Australian soaps and as far as I'm aware you don't need a licence in Australia."
TV Licensing spokeswoman Jessica Ray said: "Claiming the TV is only ever watched by the family dog is not an excuse for not being properly covered by a TV licence.
"Being caught red-handed by TV Licensing isn't most people's idea of a funny situation, but some people will always try to bluff their way out of it."
But, she added: "There is a serious punchline to these jokes. If you get caught, you risk a trip to court and a possible £1,000 fine."
TV Licensing inspectors have caught almost 350,000 people watching TV without a licence so far this year.