Leslie Knope learns the Parks Department budget is going to be cut, but she successfully convinces retiring Councilman Pillner - whose seat she is running to fill - to reconsider. Ben Wyatt criticizes Leslie for allowing her preference for the parks department to get in the way of the election, which proves to be true when Pillner decides to cut the budget of an animal shelter instead, giving the animals only days to live. Bobby Newport's campaign manager Jennifer Barkley goes on television to label Leslie as an animal killer, so Leslie adopts all of the animals to save them.
Chris Traeger reveals that Ron Swanson is among the finalists for Assistant City Manager, but he first asks Ron to join him at a yoga studio for a meditation session. Although Ron agrees to go, he refuses to meditate. Nevertheless, Chris is impressed that Ron joined him despite his reservations and decides to hire him as Assistant City Manager once he is voted by the City Council for another term as City Manager. April Ludgate - who has been miserable trying to fulfill Leslie's duties in the Parks Department - decides to hold an adoption fair at a park for the displaced shelter animals and feels good about it; unfortunately, only one girl adopts a dog while a woman drops off two cats, so April ends the day with more animals than she started with.
Meanwhile, Leslie and Ben convince Pillner to cut the budget by releasing employees on retainer. This also backfires when Pillner goes further and cuts numerous employees, including Ann Perkins. When Leslie and Ben confront Pillner again, he tells Leslie that he plays with "live ammo", meaning any decision that he makes in his job will always negatively affect some people, and warns Leslie that she will need to do the same thing if elected.
Councilman Howser tells Chris that the City Council is currently voting 3-2 to keep him as City Manager, but since Pillner is retiring, whoever is elected will be the new deciding vote. Bobby is not happy about Chris campaigning for Leslie in his spare time, so he will vote to remove Chris if elected. Chris comes to Ron for comfort and the two get drunk together. Chris feels better from Ron's reassurance and after seeing Ann walk by. April is depressed about the failure of the adoption drive, but Tom Haverford tells her the joy of the one girl adopting a dog should be enough, advising April to cherish the few victories, not the many defeats that come with the job. Leslie and Ben ask Jennifer to advise Bobby to fund the animal shelter using his own wealth, as they convinced Pillner to cut the parks budget instead of cutting jobs should Bobby refuse, making Leslie look like an protagonist for making a sacrifice. Jennifer is initially confused on why Leslie would give Bobby's campaign such an opportunity for great press, but Leslie confidently responds that she will easily defeat Bobby in the upcoming debate the next week.
Ann: [on Tom] I think I’m ready to say I love you…to his apartment.
Leslie: Did he do all this just for you?
Ann: No, he just lives like this. He's deeply in debt, but who cares?
Leslie: I've gotten to know the city councilmen pretty well because of my campaign. If you hear them talking about that blonde pain in the ass, that's-a me.
Leslie: Our department is the only thing between her and a life of tube tops and tribal tattoos and barfing in hot tubs.
Gilles: All due respect Miss Ludgate, do you even know what you're doing here?
April: All due respect Mr. Hamster Penis, but no, I don't.
Ron: I have so many ideas. Some are simple like take down traffic lights and eliminate the post office. The bigger ones will be tougher, like 'bring all this crumbling to the ground.'
Chris: You and I will embark in a quick session of heart-rate meditation, focusing on conscious breathing and opening the heart shakra.
Ron: I'm not sure I'm interested in that. No, I am sure: I'm not interested in that.
Jennifer: I am not saying that Leslie Knope is a dog murderer. I just think her actions raise some questions. Like for example, is she a dog murderer?
Perd: I don’t know the answer to that, Jennifer. But your tone makes me think…yes.
April: They should be rewarded for not being people. I hate people.
Donna: A lot of these dogs have rescued people from burning buildings. This one helped Ray Charles around.
Andy: What?! This cat was in Boogie Nights?
Chris: I’m going to try your not trying method right here, right now.
Ron: Now if you'll excuse me, there's a hot, spinning cone of meat in that Greek restaurant next door. I don't know what it is, but I'd like to eat the whole thing.
Andy: [taking ship out of bottle] I did it! I got it out!
Ron: You might consider the upside of losing your job.
Chris: For example?
Ron: You would no longer be a government parasite, sucking the lifeblood from honest, hardworking people. Instead, you’d contribute to society like a man.
Jennifer: I swear, the air in this town is killing my brain cells.
Leslie: Actually, the water's not good for you either. You shouldn't drink the tap water. Has anyone told you that yet?
Jennifer: What's in it for you?
Leslie: A safe home for the animals, a job for my friend, and a full parks budget.
Jennifer: I wasn't born yesterday. You've got to have an angle. This is a home run for us. We're going to dominate the news cycle for a whole week!
Ben: Well, you can have this week. We'll take the next one.
Jennifer: Oh, yeah? What makes you so sure?
Leslie: Because in a week, we have a debate. And your guy, Bobby Newport, is going to have show up and he's going to have to open his mouth. And I'm going to kick his ass.