In a recent fundraising event for the Salt Lake County Animal Services, voters elected two charming “CANINEdates” into office. A loveable boxer by the name of Texas will take his rightful place as Canine Mayor, while mini Golden Doodle, CeCe, will fill the role of Deputy Canine Mayor.
Both dogs had strong platforms that helped to make this endeavor a success. Tex ran with the promise that, if elected, he would change his name from “Texas” to “Utah.” Other key elements to his platform included helping public servants to learn to communicate with bigger dogs, getting service dogs for all disabled vets, and shutting down shelter gas chambers.
CeCe’s campaign focused more on how to be a good adoptive parent to a pet by bringing up issues of spaying and neutering, microchipping, giving dogs a purpose by stimulating their brain through hiking or therapy work, and making sure pets receive the attention and lifestyle they deserve.
The idea for a Canine Mayoral election became a reality when Salt Lake County Animal Services sought out a fresh new way to raise money for their Injured Animal Fund. Sandy Nelson, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Salt Lake County Animal Shelter, says, “We are always looking for fun and creative ideas at the shelter. One of our employees heard about a Canine Mayor in Coronado, California. We thought it would be a great way to raise funds for our Injured Animal Fund, plus promote the great dogs in our community.”
The general idea was to encourage local Salt Lake County canines to throw their hat into the ring for a bid at mayor. The “CANINEdates” submitted an entry fee, the first step in the fundraising process, and then voters from around the globe had twenty-one days to vote for their favorite pup for a small donation of $1. The fundraiser was a booming success, raising $23,080. Director of Salt Lake County Animal Services, Mike Reberg, says, “This is one of the most successful fundraisers ever held by our agency. The money raised for the Injured Animal Fund is going to help hundreds of injured and ill animals that find themselves in our care.”
Tex and Cece will attend special events with Salt Lake County’s mayor, Ben McAdams, promoting responsible pet ownership. Neither dog should have any struggle completing their duties as Tex is a mild-mannered, patient dog, and CeCe is a registered therapy dog. Both are great ambassadors to the community. Like the human mayor, the pets will serve a two-year term. Sandy Nelson confirms that Salt Lake County Animal Services plans to hold this election bi-annually in conjunction with the human election. Carrying this tradition forward will land Salt Lake County’s quadruped mayors among the renowned pet mayoral ranks of the greats like Lucy Lou, the dog mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, and feline Mayor Stubbs, actual mayor of his nine-hundred person hamlet in Talkeetna, Alaska for fifteen years running.
Though no word yet if our furry “CANINEdates” will eventually try for the true title of “Mayor” in the future, I think it’s safe to say that Salt Lake County Animal Services is well on the way to a long-standing and beloved tradition that residents of Salt Lake County will enjoy participating in and celebrating for years to come, giving injured and sick animals hope for healing and a home.