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Edmonton's gone paws-itively nuts, off-leash park holds pet election
EDMONTON -- It never comes as a surprise when an election turns into a dog fight in the last days of a campaign, but the voting that's going on in Mill Creek Ravine right now has all the makings of an upset, with an outsider trying to claw his way into contention.
There are distancing guidelines in dog parks, just like everywhere else, but word of the campaign on a bulletin board spread quickly. First there was one candidate, now there are two dozen, vying for the position of top dog.
"I know there was a poster for, 'Let's go Lenart!' that appeared on the Mill Creek Off Leash poster board," said pet-owner Troy Pavlek. "And once there was something that could be won that's when everything started snowballing."
Dot's four point paw-licy plan involves sanitation infrastructure.
"Recyclable scented poop bags," said Dot's owner, Bianca Cioceanu. "Because who wants to pick up a stinky poop?"
Fig is highlighting something else dogs are synonymous with.
"He would really like to have unlimited sticks for all dogs," said his owner, Sarah Juchli.
Juchli can't believe that a month ago there was only one sign, and now there's a doggie-pile of candidates.
"I thought it was really sweet and funny and cute, and I have lots of free time and so I made Fig a poster and it's really exploded," said Juchli.
There's one irregularity in the pack: a pet that's vaulted up to second place in the past weeks. He doesn't like dogs, and doesn't even go to the park.
"Addie is a real deal, from what I've heard Addie is doing quite well in the polls," said Juchli. "I personally don't agree with a cat being in a dog park election, but I'll respect the democracy that happens."
"You'll notice we're not at the ravine right now because it's inhospitable to cats. For too long dogs have run all our political institutions, and it's time for some change," said Addie's owner, Troy Pavlek.
Addie is running with the campaign platform "dogs suck." They joined the contest a week ago, and Pavlek says there's no clause in the election rules to stop his candidate from entering the race.
Thousands of people have voted, and a Patreon has been created for people to make donations. The "president" will get to decide which Edmonton-based animal charity the money will go to.
The election ends Thursday night, with the winner announced Friday, just as Edmonton's distancing restrictions begin loosening.
"If it wasn't for the pandemic and the quarantine of it all, I don't think this would've gotten as big as it did," said Pavlek. "It's just the right brand of stupid that is perfect for what's going on right now."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk