How did a dog become mayor of a Southern California town?


A Golden Retriever is more than man’s best friend in one Southern California town. 

That’s because the dog is the mayor.

That’s Maximus Mighty Dog Mueller II, better known as Mayor Max, the mayor of Idyllwild.

You can find the golden retriever cruising on his personalized pick-up truck.

Don’t worry, he doesn’t drive.

“His role is to make the world a better place by conveying unconditional love and doing as many good deeds for others,” Mayor Max’s Chief of Staff Phyllis Mueller said.

This furry friend needs some help running the town.

“My role as the chief of staff is to help run the vision of the mayor’s office for Idyllwild, so we actually run an actual mayor’s office,” Mueller said.

The two make public appearances every day to interact with the community, attracting locals and tourists.

“Max is awesome,” visitor Andrea Valadez said. “He is super friendly and he lets my son give him treats.”

Mayor Max has been in office for five years, but it was his uncle who became the first mayor of Idyllwild in 2012.

So, how did a furry friend become mayor?

“So six years ago, Idyllwild decided to elect its first mayor,” Valadez said. “You had to be a local resident, but you couldn’t run yourself. You could run your pet. In a voted election, 14 dogs and two cats ran and we decided to have an election to raise money for the animal rescue. So, you paid $1 a vote and you were encouraged to vote a lot.”

Mayor Max and his deputies, who are also Golden Retrievers, go to fundraisers and events all year round.

Mayor Max will hold his ceremonial role for his lifetime.

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