Two animal mayors have helped make a new community playground a reality in Fair Haven, Vermont.
Aside from the town's contribution of $20,000, the current mayor of Fair Haven, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Murfee, has helped raise another $20,000, according to the Rutland Herald.
The outlet also reports that Lincoln, a female goat that was elected the town's first pet mayor in 2018, helped pull together an additional $10,000.
According to Town Manager Joe Gunter, the current playground, which is next to the town's elementary school is "32 years old" and "past its useful life," with broken equipment, the Herald reports.
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Murfee's owner, Linda Barker, told the Herald that she had to get creative to help her pup raise the funds for the project during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When I was talked into putting Murfee up to run, I thought, easy-peasy, we'll get some T-shirts, we'll go to the Spring Fling, we'll sell some shirts and raise some money," said Barker. "And then COVID struck and it was like … there go all the easy plans."
Her new plan? Making masks to help curb the spread of coronavirus, which has helped her and Murfee bring in "well over $5,000" so far, thanks to the 1,000 masks (and counting) that the owner has made.
Barker also held a basket raffle, which was a hit even using a socially-distanced method in which Barker set up stations in a park instead of going around to businesses herself.
"We had over 130 baskets … people really dug deep," Barker told the Herald. "Almost all the businesses in Fair Haven donated. In Rutland, we had quite a few donations, so that worked really well."
While Fair Haven just missed receiving a grant from the U.S. Land and Water Conservation Fund last cycle, the town was recently awarded a $50,000 grant, which, along with the funds raised by its animal mayors, will go to the new playground – set to begin construction in May.
But Murfee has a bone to pick with those in charged of one aspect of the new playground: its "No Dogs Allowed" sign!
"Murfee is going to take that up with the town," said Barker with a laugh, according to the Associated Press. "He's going to contest that."
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