Pet politicians run for mayor of Divide

DIVIDE, Colo.– It’s election time for one small city in the Pikes Peak region, and their candidates are anything but ordinary.

Twelve pawed politicians are vying for your vote for mayor of Divide.

This is the fourth election year the city has opened up the polls to pets, and it’s all for a good cause.

“We’ve had votes come in from Belgium, Brazil, Australia, Canada,” Mary Steinbeiser, Executive Director of the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, said.

Hundreds of votes are pouring in for the four-legged leaders, who are all running to replace current Mayor Pa-Kettle.

Eight dogs, one cat, a wolf, a donkey and a hedgehog are all hoping to stick your vote, but they’re letting their campaign managers do the talking.

“I think she’s the only candidate who’s not U.S. born, so we’re hoping we don’t have to produce a birth certificate,” Focita’s campaign manager, Kristin Doust, said.

Each animal represents a different company or organization, and they all have a message to share.

Like Focita, who was born in Costa Rica without the use of her back legs.

“I brought her back here and now she gets along great. So she wants to be the spokesperson for any dog who may have been born with a handicap of any sort because it doesn’t slow her down at all,” Doust said.

With such cute candidates, it’ll be a rough race.

“She just brings a lot of light to us and everyone that she’s around,” Nala’s campaign manager, Alyssa Baker, said.

“He just wanted to be part of raising money to help this foundation,” Peanut’s campaign manager, Cindy Fost, said.

“He has unwavering optimism despite his physical disabilities,” Niki’s campaign manager, Faith Brandow, said.

But no matter who you choose, they’ll all appreciate your vote because each one costs a dollar, and it all goes toward helping homeless pets at the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter.

“As a small rural shelter, we only have so many in our community that can support us,” Steinbeiser said.

But with thousands of votes coming in from around the world each election year, one pet politician’s new title is helping hundreds of others find their forever homes.

The shelter opened in 2000, and right now is home to about 50 dogs and cats.

If you’d like to vote, head to their website at TCRAScolorado.org . Polls close April 5.

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