PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — Port Coquitlam has a new top dog now that the Heritage Museum and Archive has named Raiin the boxer the first official pet ambassador for the city.
Voting in the first-ever Pet Election closed last Friday, and what started out as a creative way to raise funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic will likely become an annual affair.
Alex Code, the Museum Manager at Port Coquitlam Heritage Museum & Archives, explains there was a nomination fee and each vote required a $1 donation.
“With COVID over the last year and a bit, our fundraising really took a hit, like everyone’s did I’m sure,” he explains.
“We had to get a little creative, so we made this pet election as a way to raise some funds and to highlight some of the pets that are important in our community.”
There were 32 pets in the contest, with a series of challenges along the way.
The winner was announced Tuesday.
“It was a hard-fought campaign I think there were 32 candidates. In the end, it was Raiin, the boxer who won the election,” Code says.
“She’s going to be named our pet ambassador at the city council meeting tonight. This does not give her the power to call an election. Raiin will be representing the pets of PoCo at various events, she’ll be out there — posing for pictures, licking babies.”
Raiin’s profile describes the five-year-old pup as a fighter who survived some serious health challenges earlier in her life, and is a beloved companion for her human.
Her favourite toy? “Anything she can destroy!”
Voodoo the cat got the “Spirit Award,” the black cat is being noted for her clever submissions to campaign contests.
All in all the campaign was a fun way of bringing the community together, and highlighting some of the non-human residents of the city.
“We had a great turnout, lots of votes. We’re really happy with the community and I think everyone really loved the pets. Especially when times are tough, people really pull together and there was really an outpouring of support for our local museum here.”