Animals show their face in politics from time to time
“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm
Politics, Politics, Politics. It is all we hear about whether we want to or not. What does this have to do with Animal Control? Animals have been associated with different political parties for as long as politics have been around. American parties are no different. We all know that the donkey is for the Democratic Party and the Elephant is for the Republican Party but other parties also have their animals. In addition, did you know that some animals have been elected into office?
The California National Party uses a bear as its animal symbol. The Whig party has used multiple animals as their symbol: the Great Horned Owl, Raccoon, and Rattlesnake. Other animal political symbols are a bird, eagle, moose, pelican, penguin, porcupine, and tiger. America is not the only country to utilize animals as their political symbols. Some of those animals are Ostriches, Dove, Stork, and a number of birds in flight.
Animals are important to people worldwide. So much so that some have been elected into political offices. Makes you wonder how bad the human candidate had to be for an animal to win over them. The Romans seem to do it all first, but did they elect an animal into an office first? No. However, it was believed that Caligula made his horse, Incitatus, a Senator. Although it is not true, it was believable because of Caligula’s madness.
In 1938, Republican, Boston Curtis was elected committee member in Milton Washington. The thing is that Curtis was a Mule. He was entered into the primaries by the then Democratic Mayor Kenneth Simmons. He wanted to show how most voters have no idea who they are supporting. More than likely, he voted everything down with a “neigh.”
In Lajitas, Texas, they had a dynasty that would rival that of Ming’s. This was the Clay Henry dynasty. Henry was a goat. In fact, three Clay Henrys held the office of Mayor for this unincorporated town in wester Texas. Clay Henry Sr. held the office from 1986 to 1992 until Clay Henry Jr. killed him in a drunken brawl over a nanny goat. Yes, I said drunken brawl. Both goats were big beer drinkers and the year of Jr’s death in 1996, he was close to consuming 40 beers a day after holding office for four years.
Clay Henry III did not enter this office until 2002. This was a fierce Mayoral race between him, a wooden Indian, and a dog-named Clyde. He only held the office for two year until he was assassinated. The assassins reason because he was tired of seeing “good beer” wasted on the goats. The office has since remained empty.
In 1981, Bosco Ramos (Bosco the Dog) held the honorary mayor title in Sunol, California. He held the honor until his death in 1994. He was so good in the position that they put a statue of him in front of the post office.
Stubbs the cat held the honorary office of Mayor in Talkeetna, Alaska for 20 years before his death in 2017. Though he was more of a tourist attraction for the town, he still had this honor. He had free reign to wander the town and frequented the restaurant. An assassination attempt was acted out by a local dog ending in a punctured lung, fracture and a deep cut. He soon recovered and returned to his office.
Shawn Flowers is the lead animal control officer for Columbus Animal Control.