After nearly a lifetime of service to his community, it is now time to rest.
Mayor Max II, the canine mayor of Idyllwild, California, died July 30, the Idyllwild Town Crier reported.
The golden retriever developed sudden health issues and underwent surgery to remove several organs. The outlook was grim, his owners wrote on social media hours before he died.
His owners also announced his death on social media shortly after the end came, Yahoo! Live reported.
Mayor Max II, whose real name was Maximum Mighty-Dog Mueller II, according to ABC News, “took office” after his predecessor Mayor Max died in his sleep in 2013. At the time Max II was just a puppy, born just under a month after the first doggy mayor died.
The first Mayor Max was “elected” after Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends ran a fundraiser where families in the non-incorporated town could nominate their pets. Voters cast their ballots by donating $1 a vote. The money then went to help save animals to the tune of $31,000 raised by the animal rescue group, ABC News reported in 2019.
Max the first beat out 13 other dogs and two cats with two-thirds of the vote. His owners helped him win with a $20,000 donation check, ABC News reported.
“I thought it would be fun to have my dog be the mayor,” Phyllis Mueller told ABC News in 2019. “You were asked to pay a dollar a vote and you were encouraged to buy the election.”
Mayor Max II was supposed to leave office after his first term in 2014, but the Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends group decided to not set a term limit on Max II’s reign over the town, the newspaper reported. The third election held for the pet mayor of the town was the last, after the animal rescue named Max II mayor for life, ABC News reported.
Mueller, who was not only Max’s co-owner but also his Chief of Staff, released a statement saying in part, “We are so deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected loss of our sweet dog, Mayor Max. Mayor Max is so much a part of me that I am having difficulty coping. Your outreach to us has been so comforting and helpful. As soon as I can, I’ll make an appearance in town if I think I can have any form of communication without crying too much.”
She called him “a devoted public servant.”
“All I had to say was, ‘We’re going to work!’ and he would jump up and run to the door. As I put his tie on, he would put his head down to put it through the elastic band. I then put on his vest and he would lift up his paw so that I could put it on him,” Mueller wrote to the paper.
Mayor Max II served with two deputy mayors, both golden retrievers, and all would take their turns for appearances at city events, hospitals and schools, among their other mayoral duties.
The deputy doggo mayors will be filling the void left behind by Max II for now, but there will be a new search for a new mayor of Idyllwild, his owners said on Facebook.
©2022 Cox Media Group