Democracy in Inuvik has officially gone to the dogs.
Or cats. Or birds. Or jellyfish. Voters will decide Oct. 15 who will be named to Inuvik’s first pet mayor and council for a fall fundraiser for Arctic Paws Animal Rescue Society.
“A couple of coworkers were talking about Dawson City’s dog and council election and asked if Arctic Paws would do something like that,” said organizer Christine Menno. “This is not just for cats and dogs, wouldn’t it be great if some random pet won, like a turtle or chicken?
“All the candidates running for mayor would be entered into a poll on the group and the people will vote — it’ll be set for one vote per person. It will be the same for the council.”
So far, one chicken, one lovebird, one jellyfish, two guinea pigs, six cats and 12 dogs have signed up for the race. Entrance is $10 to run for mayor and $5 to run for council, with all proceeds going to help Arctic Paws continue its work, which includes spay and neuter services and running veterinarian clinics, as well as covering a large amount of costs, including transporting stray animals to loving homes further south and providing pet medication to families that cannot afford it. The nonprofit runs exclusively on donations.
After a bingo blowout last spring, the organization decided to find other ways to fundraise for its operations, which included a March comedy show. Since the show, the society has run a vet clinic at the Midnight Sun Complex and assisted with the care of Inuvik’s feathered and/or four or more-legged citizens.
Right now, the contest is mostly for bragging rights, but Menno said organizers were working on more concrete prizes for the pets.
“We’re still thinking about what the pet will win,” she said. “But Mayor Natasha Kulikowski said she would take a picture with the winner.”
Nominations for pet mayor and council are open until Oct. 13. To enter your pet, sent an electronic money transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org and join the Inuvik Mayor and Council Pet Election Facebook group to view more campaign photos and saucy debates.
Menno added the exercise is intended to be fun and asked all competitors to remember the real winners at the end of the day is suppose to be Arctic Paws and the critters of Inuvik.
“Thanks again to the community for donating to Arctic Paws and having some fun with the mock election.”