Max II, formally known as Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II, is the adorable elected leader of Idyllwild, California

By Maria Pasquini
May 30, 2019 05:01 PM
Credit: Sam McManis/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty

This California town has gone to the dogs!

Ever since 2013, a golden retriever known as Mayor Max II (formally called Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II) has served as the elected leader of Idyllwild, California, taking over after the death of his predecessor, Mayor Max, another golden retriever.

As for his official duties, in addition to attending special town events, Max II can typically be found on the weekends in the back of his pickup truck, ready to meet as many of his constituents as possible, according to Travel & Leisure.

In a post on the 6-year-old pup’s official website, Max II also promises to “speak out on behalf of the animals of this mountain, domesticated and non-domesticated.”

“I will be a role model as Mayor for all canines, felines and humines,” Max II’s oath reads, as the pooch adds that he swears “on my food bowl to faithfully execute my duties.”

As if that’s not already adorable enough, Max II frequently dresses up when making public appearances, typically opting to wear striped ties.

And he’s not alone!

There are two other prominent pooches that are part of the local government: Deputy Mayor Mitzi and Deputy Mayor Mickey, who are also golden retrievers. Additionally, Max II is aided by his owner, Phyllis Mueller, his self-appointed Chief of Staff.

While towns are traditionally run by humans, Idyllwild, a non-incorporated town, started electing canine mayors in 2012, holding a fundraiser that allowed local residents to run their dogs and cats as candidates, with every vote costing $1.

According to the mayor’s official website, a total of 16 pets were nominated to run for office that year, and Max II’s predecessor picked up the election after raising a total of $31,000 for Animal Rescue Friends (ARF), a local pet welfare organization.

At the prompting of the town, ARF announced in February 2013 that Max would be allowed to hold office for two terms, instead of just one, and would remain mayor until June 30, 2014.

However, in the middle of his second term, Max passed away, and his owners, Mueller and her husband, started searching for a replacement.

Mueller explained to Travel & Leisure that they searched throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to find a dog that looked exactly like Max, and ended up bringing home three adorable pups: Max II, as well as his deputy mayors Mitzi and Mikey, who are all of the same bloodline.

“When we met Max in his infancy, he looked right at the camera, crossed his arms and did a pose,” she told the outlet. “That’s how he let us know, we said, there it is, that’s the sign, that is the mayor.'”

The town has continued to love Max II just as much as their original mayor, and in March 2014, it was announced that the pooch would be allowed to serve as the town’s mayor for the rest of his life.

But even though Max II will never have to run for re-election, he may have his sights set on attaining a higher political office someday.

On the frequently asked questions section of the pooch’s website, it was revealed that Max II hasn’t necessarily ruled out a bid for President of the United States.

“Max would love to run for President. He’ll do a great job!” the answer reads.