The office of mayor for any town is an extremely important one, given to someone who is trustworthy and loyal. The mayor is an elected position, allowing the citizens to speak openly about who they want representing their home town. There’s not actually any requirement about who that representative is.
One small town had a unique idea about how to elect an official for their town. Idyllwild, California, a non-incorporated town, decided to sponsor a mayoral election with candidates that would be chosen from local pets! Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends, a non-profit organization, sponsored the first-ever election allowing residents to nominate a dog or a cat for the election. Constituents could cast their vote for a donation of $1 with all proceeds going to benefit the ARF. 14 dogs and 2 cats were nominated and $31,000 was raised. On July 1, 2012, a golden retriever named Maximus Mighty dog Mueller, better known as Max, was inaugurated as the mayor of the township for a one year term having garnered a whopping two-thirds of the votes. His owner, Phyllis Mueller, campaigned really hard and also gave a generous donation to ARF in the amount of $20,000!
For animal lovers everywhere as well as those who were just impressed by the endeavor, Max’s popularity spread like wildfire. He routinely rode around the town in the back of his owner’s pickup truck greeting his constituents. On February 9, 2013, his term as mayor of Idyllwild was extended to a second year which would end on June 30, 2014. Sadly, Mayor Max passed away on April 2, 2013 and people were devastated. His successor, Maximus Mighty Dog Mueller II arrived on July 21, 2013 and he was immediately approved for the remainder of the term.
Mayor Max II was assigned two deputy mayors, Mikey Mighty Dog Mueller, and Mitzi Marie Mueller. They became well known as “the Mayors of Idyllwild”. All three of the dogs shared a common thread – they were all related to the original Mayor Max.
At the end of the official term, the constituents of Idyllwild overwhelmingly expressed a desire for the Mayors of Idyllwild to continue their term indefinitely. They continue to serve as elected officials.
This venture served many purposes. For animal lovers and supporters, this was not only an overwhelming opportunity to raise funds and awareness for animals everywhere, but it was also a unique opportunity to allow a member of the canine family to stand as a loyal and trustworthy official representing his home.