There was an election in Fair Haven, Vermont last March 3 where even children could vote, and the people there elected a new mayor — a therapy dog.
It was a tight race, but Murfee, a 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, won the election. Eighteen animals were the candidates for the race. Yet Murfee edged out the current mayor, a 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln, by 25 votes.
It’s been a two-year tradition in Fair Haven to choose a four-legged animal as mayor. The honorary pet mayoral position started when the town decided to switch things up. They used the position to help raise funds to replace the community’s elementary school playground equipment, which is more than 20 years old.
Now, a pet owner can register their pet in the race with a $5 fee.
Fair Haven Town Manager Joe Gunter told CNN that during a time when politics can be controversial, the mayoral race in Fair Haven brings the people together for a common cause. It’s also a wonderful way to teach the children about civics and the importance of voting in local elections.
The young students came out to the polls in numbers. Of the 664 people who voted, approximately 300 were elementary school kids, Gunter stated.
Murfee won with 146 votes, followed by Lincoln with 121. Sammy, a 6-year-old German shepherd rescue and the Fair Haven Police Department’s K-9 dog, ranked third with 117 votes.
Last year’s race was even closer. Lincoln won by just three votes.
As the newly elected mayor, Murfee will become the face of the town’s fundraising campaign. Murfee will also make appearances at town events. That means Murfee will be busy this year.
Murfee is a certified therapy dog who visits nursing homes, hospitals, and grade schools together with other dogs from the Caring Canines Therapy Dogs of Southern Vermont.
Murfee’s owner Linda Barker told CNN that she was excited. She thinks Murfee has proven he can raise money for the playground fund since he already raised $570 with his bake sale.
Thanks to our friends over CNN for sharing the original post.