It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s Ambassadog!

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

It’s a fact: Sandpoint has a love affair with dogs. You see it walking the streets daily. You see it in the summer issue of Sandpoint Magazine. You see it in the pet-friendly bars, shops and businesses. You can even see it here at the Reader with our Straight Poop column dedicated to sniffing out the dog-friendly businesses around North Idaho.

What better way to further our love affair for our four-footed pals than to nominate your favorite pooch as the official Ambassadog for Sanpdoint?

The pilot program is a joint effort sponsored by Visit Sandpoint and Pandhandle Animal Shelter to help raise funds for the shelter.

“We took the idea from Scotland,” said Kate McAlister, president of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. “Some keen reporters saw it online and decided it would be a great idea for Sandpoint.”

Here’s how it works: the Sandpoint Ambassadog will represent the spirit of our community. The Ambassadog that is selected will have official duties over the year or his or her reign, including appearances that some of the animal shelter’s Yappy Hour events, marching in local parades and proudly representing Sandpoint to the World. Plus, the contest raises money for the Panhandle Animal Shelter!

“Sandpoint is already a dog-friendly town, so we thought we would go bigger and have our own mascot and ‘official’ Ambassadog to represent all the other canines in the area,” said McAlister.

The owners of the dog selected as Ambassadog will also win a two-night getaway to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch with his or her humans, along with a gift basket stuffed with delightful goods for both dog and owner.

Nominations will be accepted at until September 10, 2016. To nominate your dog, please provide a photo (with a minimum size of 600 pixels wide) and a paragraph not to exceed 75 words telling your dog’s virtues and why he or she is a good candidate for Ambassadog. If you have a YouTube or Vimeo video of your dog, you may submit that too.

A $5 donation to Panhandle Animal Shelter is requested with each nomination. Five finalist dogs will be chosen in a random drawing among all nominees, but there’s voting, too. For every vote a dog gets, he or she will get an additional entry into the drawing. Those who vote can do so once per day, per dog for free.

You can increase your dog’s chances even more by donating to PAS. For each $1 donated, the donor can award an additional vote to a dog they like.

For the winner, don’t fret; This isn’t like winning Miss America and going on the road for weeks and weeks. We do things a little more low-key here in Sandpoint.

“We will offer opportunities for appearances and their agent can decide which ones will fit into their schedule,” said McAlister. “The thought is to have several appearances at Yappy Hour, and maybe a parade or two.”

The winning dog will be chosen at the September Yappy Hour. Don’t let your dog be left behind! Sign them up for the contest and buy lots of votes to show your love.

Long live the Ambassadog!

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