Pleasanton has crowned a new Ambassadog for 2018 with Red, a 12-year-old golden retriever-chow chow mix who is part of the local Haas family, taking the ceremonial leash from Mayor Jerry Thorne last week.
The Ambassadog designation, a second-year program between the city and local nonprofit Valley Humane Society, aims to highlight the dog-friendly policies and practices in Pleasanton, officials said.
Red, who will be the city's official canine representative for the next year, succeeds Corgi-shepherd mix Amber Hall, who served as Pleasanton's inaugural Ambassadog last year. Red earned the distinction after the Haas family won this year's Ambassadog auction at Valley Humane's Tails at Twilight fundraising gala in March.
"Red's friendly demeanor sets an excellent example for all dogs in Pleasanton," Councilman Jerry Pentin said while reading the city proclamation at the council meeting May 1. "The city of Pleasanton hereby confers upon Red Haas the distinct honor of serving as the 2018 Pleasanton Ambassadog, and wishes Red the best as he em'barks' on his new role in our city."
Red has been a member of the Haas family since they rescued him in December 2007. They noted the 12-year-old enjoys walks, hates water and loves the two cats and one hamster who also live in their animal-friendly home.
"Our entire family has volunteered or worked with animals for over 15 years, in one way or another," Anne Haas, Red's guardian, said in a statement. "Red makes us all remember what's important. He is always ready to go for a walk, but then stops a thousand times to smell the roses and everything around him."
The city endorsed Valley Humane Society's request to create the Ambassadog title last year as part of its focus on continuing to support a livable community for the entire household, according to city officials, citing other dog-friendly efforts such as the new 1.5-acre Cubby's Dog Park.
"Valley Humane Society has been saving animal lives and supporting our community for 30 years, so we are pleased to have the city participate with them in recognizing the Pleasanton Ambassadog," City Manager Nelson Fialho said in a statement. "Having an official canine representative highlights our dog-friendly community, while recognizing a valuable local nonprofit organization and its rescue efforts."
As part of serving as the city's Ambassadog, Red is set to receive special attention on a TV30 program with his family and a designated place of honor in the city's Hometown Holiday Parade this December.