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AROUND TOWN: Mayor Walter is Divide's top cat
That Walter, he’s snuggling up to his new job as the purrfectly strong mayor of Divide.
Until his inauguration on April 7 he had been best known as the official greeter at the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park.
Then he whupped all his competitors in the election and now he’s The Man.
It’s all in fun and to help raise some kitty litter funds for the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, a nonprofit, no-kill facility. And since Walter is an impartial type of mayor, he’ll even let some of the money go to the ... dogs.
Campaign chairmen, shelter volunteers and guests were treated to a barbecue at the shelter in Divide. Then the final vote totals were announced. In Divide, an unincorporated area, it was absolutely appropriate, in fact essential, for candidates to accept money, a buck a vote.
The result: $8,600+ for the shelter.
Walter, spurred on by campaign chairman Deb Acord, purred his way to 3,993 votes, a total not lost on newly elected (April 3) Woodland Park Mayor David Turley. Turley’s vote count was 710 and he might need Walter’s help next election.
Coming in second in the voting was Nakai, a wolf; Tarzan, a Cripple Creek donkey; and dogs Dante, Zack, Squirt, Ashley and Vader. Jade, a parrot, squawked his way to 127 votes.
None of the mayoral candidates are homeless.
Walter’s campaign literature said that his past is a mystery. He was taken in by the shelter and then “made a name for himself ever since he began living and working at the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park a decade ago. He arrived with a mission – to be a blood donor for a client – and he never left.
“Today, Walter takes his job seriously. He greets clients at the clinic, offers advice to visiting cats and patrols the surrounding fields.”
Not everyone could be mayor, so some of the shelter’s animals became poster material this year when they posed with Teller County firefighters for a 2012 Rescue Me! calendar created by volunteers Barbara Berger and Janet Brown. There will be a new calendar and new firefighters in 2013.
The shelter took in 474 dogs and 275 cats in 2011 and volunteers either found their lost families or placed them in permanent homes.
Serving on the TCRAS board are Roger Boss, Dan Heimerdinger, Quinn Griffey, Barbara Berger and Pam Brady.