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Therapy Dog Wins the Mayoral Race in Fair Haven, Vermont



  • Fair Haven, Vermont holds a tradition wherein the community seats one four-legged animal as mayor.
  • The tradition serves as a fundraising activity to build a new playground for the elementary school.
  • Murfee the therapy dog won the seat of the mayor with a total of 146 votes.

While other people headed to the polls for Super Tuesday, Fair Haven, Vermont holds a different kind of election wherein even children could vote.

The honorary pet mayoral position began two years ago, wherein one four-legged animal is elected mayor in Fair Haven. The town decided to use the position as a fundraising event that would fun the replacement for the playground at the community elementary school, which has been more than 20 years old.

Pet owners may opt to have their pets enter the race at a registration cost of $5.

Photo by CNN

The ballots are all in and the honorary mayor for the town is a 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Murfee, defeating 18 other animals he is up against.

Fair Haven Town Manager Joe Gunter says, “At a time when politics can be contentious, the mayoral race in Fair Haven brings the community together for a common cause,” adding, “It’s also a great way to teach our kids about civics and how important it is to vote in our local elections.”

The voter turnout was exemplary, 664 people went out to vote. 300 of which are students from the elementary school, Gunter said.

Murfee won the seat of the mayor with a total of 146 votes, unseating the Lincoln the goat who won the year before, now earning 121 votes. With 117 votes, Sammy, six-year-old German shepherd’s rescue, rose to third place alongside a K-9 unit from the Fair Haven Police Department.

Photo by Burlington Free Press

The recently elected mayor will front advertising efforts for the fundraising campaign in the community and will participate by making appearances at public functions.

On top of his regular visits to nursing homes, grade schools and hospitals along with other dogs from the Caring Canines Therapy Dogs of Southern Vermont, the mayoral seat will keep the therapy dog busy this year.


Linda was more excited that Murfee over their win, saying, “I was excited. I think Murfee has proven he can raise money for the playground fund since he raised $570 with his bake sale.”

But it appears as if the entire reaction drawn from the dog was “Does this mean I get extra treats?”, she says.

Here is the GoFundMe page set up by the community to build the new playground at the elementary.

Source: CNN