German Shepherd becomes Niagara Falls Mayor for the weekend


Published March 27, 2023 at 1:31 pm

A German Shepherd named Pal was deputized as the Niagara Falls mayor on Friday to raise awareness and funds for the Niagara Falls Kidney Clinic. Here's Pal wearing the mayor's chain of office. (Photo: BuddyandMikes Pal -Mike Lalicich Facebook)

“Who’s a good mayor? Pal’s a good mayor, yes, he is…”

When a one-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd named Pal was deputized as the Niagara Falls mayor on Friday (March 24), the present mayor Jim Diodati had one concern.

“I just want to make him happy because if he runs against me (in the future), I’m done,” quipped Diodati to the assembled media and staff.

While Diodati is likely safe, he was given ‘paws’ by some of Pal’s other demands – more dog parks and fire hydrants.

All of this was, of course, for a good cause as Pal’s owner Mike Lalicich is looking to raise funds for a $25,000 portable ultrasound machine for the Niagara Falls Kidney Clinic and was hoping the publicity from the mayor’s gig might spark some interest.

“We just thought this would be a great way to get it out there. We’ve got an objective, we want to raise that money and this is our way of helping,” Lalicich told a Toronto TV station.

However, the puppy’s political ploy turned into a surprise for Diodati. After the mayor inked up Pal’s paw to put his signature in the official Niagara Falls guestbook, Diodati started flipping back through the pages.

From an entry dated back to October 1951, Princess Elizabeth and her husband Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, had previously signed the book during a visit to Niagara Falls. Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth in February 1952 when her father, King George VI, died.

As it turned out, Diodati had never seen the royal signatures in the book before Pal’s appearance.

Pal’s reign as Niagara Falls mayor ended this morning as Diodati took back authority but the fundraising continues for the portable ultrasound machine for the Niagara Falls Kidney Clinic.

For more information on helping the fight against kidney disease in Niagara Falls, go to: or call 289-228-5713.

Niagara Falls restaurant, The Pizzeria, will give $2 from every order towards the portable ultrasound for the kidney clinic. To the right, Mayor Jim Diodati puts Pal’s pawprint into the city’s visitor guide.


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