Sassy was the true underdog until a last-minute mystery donor gave her a leg up on the competition – and that’s how the golden retriever captured the title of 2017 Corrales Pet Mayor.
“It was one of those last-minute twists,” said Abby Keller, Pet Mayor Election area coordinator. “It was a little bit of an upset.”
In the end, Sassy took 33 percent of the votes, while Spot the horse had 29 percent. Mister Tea the cat and Loveable Lisa the shih-tzu came in third and fourth, respectively.
Although all candidates ran a close race, Keller said Spot held the lead for the first three weeks until a last-minute vote bearing much moolah brought Sassy front and center.
“We don’t know if they just like golden retrievers or whatnot,” she said of the mystery online donor who placed a $200 vote for Sassy.
Keller said this hasn’t happened in the three years that she’s coordinated the election, one of the quaint events that make up the village’s annual Harvest Festival that was held last weekend.
“This vote completely turned it upside down,” she said.
Votes, which cost a dollar, are typically cast in $1 or $5 increments – never in the hundreds.
Sassy’s owner, Melanie Scholer said she doesn’t know who the mystery donor is and had nothing to do with it.
“We really had not expected it – that horse sure still held the front for a long time,” Scholer said. “She’s pretty happy about it.”
Sassy received a treat basket for the win but is taking her new responsibility seriously and plans to be transparent, going to a lot of functions.
“She’ll being doing meet-and-greets so people know she’s out there,” Scholer said.
Sassy would like to focus on helping dogs and cats, providing homes while bringing attention to the need for spaying and neutering.
“She had some great competition,” she said.
Sassy even found a vice mayor in her opponent as Spot agreed to gallop in for any performances and functions that Sassy can’t.
This year, the election raised $1,400, which will be given through grants to animal- and children-related community organizations.
“I really appreciate the generosity of all the people in the village,” Scholer said. “People really came through – you know – it’s tight for everybody.”