Dog enters race for mayor and wins voters' hearts

Toronto, Canada - Toronto, the most populated city in Canada, elected a new mayor on Monday. And from the 102 candidates who ran, one very important team was on the ballot: a man and his dog.

Toby Heaps ran for mayor of Toronto, and wanted to make his four-legged friend Molly the first dog mayor of the city.
Toby Heaps ran for mayor of Toronto, and wanted to make his four-legged friend Molly the first dog mayor of the city.  © Collage: Instagram/tobyaaheaps

During the run-up to the Toronto mayoral election, one candidate in particular stood out as a true underdog and captured the attention of voters: Molly!

The six-year-old rescue dog joined her owner Toby Heaps in the race for office, challenging the traditional political landscape.

"I am running to be the human mayor because the law is built that you have to be [at least] 18 years old," Heaps told The Toronto Oberserver. "The first thing I would do if I was elected is to initiate the procedures to have Molly be appointed to be the first dog mayor of Toronto."

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The animal lover went on to say he and Molly had run a "serious campaign," investing $20,000 himself in addition to donations his team raised on his behalf.

His campaign manager, Becky Smith, said the team had "a lot of solid ideas" that were "good for people and pets," too.

Heaps promised Molly would be "in all the rooms where the decisions were getting made" and planned to "shake things up."

While Olivia Chow was elected Toronto's next mayor, Heaps and Molly certainly won voters' hearts.

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Toby Heaps and his dog Molly at the polls on Election Day.
Toby Heaps and his dog Molly at the polls on Election Day.  © Instagram/tobyaaheaps

Toby Heaps and Molly have a special bond.

The dog, a wolf-husky mix, came to Canada as a puppy from Sochi, Russia. She originally belonged to Heaps' mother, who lost her battle with cancer in 2021. After that, the furry dog found a place in her new owner's heart.

With a vision to make Toronto a more dog-friendly city, Heaps and Molly had a major goal: to combat the harmful effects of road salt on dogs' paws. The issue inspired Heaps to become politically involved along with his four-legged friend.

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Although the duo did not win their race for office, they sparked a wave of positive reaction from voters. Smith said Toronto residents had been "looking for something to inspire and motivate them," and the pup and his pal were it.

Voters are hoping Heaps - who shot his campaign video on rollerblades – will continue to try to make his city a better place. With his dog Molly in tow, of course!

Cover photo: Collage: Instagram/tobyaaheaps

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