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Old dog, new title: 13-year-old hound named new Port Coquitlam pet ambassador

Meet Benjamin, the Basset Hound that'll represent the city at community events and gatherings for the next year.
Benjamin, a 13-year-old basset hound, won Port Coquitlam's second-ever pet election on June 28, 2022.

His first act in office: more belly rubs and Mightwolf cookies.

There's a new pet ambassador in Port Coquitlam's civic office and while he may be in his senior years, Benjamin is ready to represent the city wholehearted.

The 13-year-old Basset Hound won the 2022 pet election, announced by the PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives last Tuesday (June 28).

Benjamin claimed his new position by receiving the most votes throughout the one-month lighthearted competition by the non-profit organization out of a total of five candidates — four dogs and one Cockatiel.

He's set to show up at various events, but his official appearance schedule is still being determined.

"We're not entirely sure right now, but keep your eyes peeled at important PoCo events like May Day, Christmas at Leigh Square," Alex Code, PoCo Heritage museum manager, tells the Tri-City News.

"With a big personality and a penchant for belly rubs, we think he will make an excellent ambassador!"

Benjamin takes over for Raiin the Boxer, who recently completed her term as PoCo pet ambassador but will keep the legacy as the inaugural champion.

The first election also served as a fundraiser for PoCo Heritage and brought in more than $2,500 for future community events and programming, as well as curating the museum's collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The outpouring of support from the community was heartwarming," said Code in an earlier interview.

"If anything, I think this event just goes to show how important our pets are to our community."

PoCo Heritage's profile of Benjamin explains he "thinks he owns" the city, which only adds to his outgoing personality.

The PoCo Spirit Award from the 2022 election went to Odie — a one-and-a-half-year-old rescue Jack Russell Terrier who loves to chew on raw meat and play with his stuffed rabbit.

For more information, you can visit the PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives' website.

Odie, a 1.5-year-old Jack Russell Terrier won the spirit award from the 2022 Port Coquitlam pet election. By PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives