~ by Trevor Phipps ~
At the beginning of every year, the folks at the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter (TCRAS) start gearing up for their annual political campaign race to pick the mayor of Divide, an annual contest that is extremely competitive.
Forget about the quest for the White House or the Woodland Park mayoral seat. They don’t have as many colorful candidates as the race in Divide.
Besides setting the stage for a new leader of the Center of the Known Universe, the organization has welcomed a new director, Angie Davis. Davis is ready to take the reins and move the nonprofit forward in the future.
Davis, although new to her current position with TCRAS, is not new to working with animal shelters and rescues. “I have been blessed with animal welfare since I was about 14 years old when I started out at a wildlife rehab center as a volunteer,” Davis said. “And then, I had a wonderful career with the Dumb Friends League in Denver for about 17 years and then a shelter on the westside of Denver in Jefferson County I did some management and customer care and I helped them building their new facility.”
Then, Davis said her family made the move to the Pikes Peak Region, forcing her to switch careers due to the distance she was from her old job. When she first moved to the area, she started working for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region for about four years and she was volunteering for TCRAS at the same time. After volunteering at TCRAS, she was offered a position with the organization as the director of operations, a title she has held for the last five years.
When asked if there was anything new that she was going to bring to the table as the new TCRAS director, Davis said that she is going to continue on with the work previous directors of the organization have already started.
“The director that was here before and the director before her have already put stepping stones in front of us that we need to continue to get stronger with, especially with fundraising,” Davis said. “It takes a lot to care for the animals but more than anything we also care for the community. We have a spay and neuter program for the community and we have a paws in hand program where if people are struggling with behavioral issues, instead of bringing the animal into the shelter we are going to connect them with a trainer that we pay for to try to allow them to keep the animal and to enrich their situation. So we do a lot for the community that takes a lot of funds.”
As far as why she has dedicated her life to helping animals, Davis said that she benefits from connecting with the pets she helps. “I really wanted to be a voice for the animals,” Davis explained. “They give me a lot. The6 teach me every single moment about how to be a better person and do things better. I just want to give them a chance of a better situation if we can.”
Davis also described that the best way to adopt an animal for those who are interested is to go on their website at TCRASColorado.org and look at all of the pets that are currently in the shelter. Then, Davis said that everyone is welcome to go into the shelter and meet all of the animals there.
Next, according to Davis, people that find a pet they connect with can get a chance to take it out of the shelter during a doggie day out. The day out program gives anyone the chance to take a dog out for the day to see if it will be a good fit.
As a part of their efforts to get the word out more about the shelter, last Friday TCRAS teamed up with a local television news station and brought participants to the 2020 Puppy Bowl. The shelter brought down 12 puppies so that they could be featured in the Puppy Bowl that took place over a week before the Super Bowl. All of the puppies showcased during the Puppy Bowl are now up for adoption.
As of Jan. 17, TCRAS also launched their big campaign for the mayor of Divide by opening up the applications for candidacy. Until Jan. 31, any non-human candidate hopeful can submit an application to try to hold the head seat of the small town west of Woodland Park. So far, all of the candidates running for the position are dogs, but any animal could still challenge the canines.
During the campaign, things have been known to get “dirty” and animal puns and political mudslinging are encouraged. The voting starts at 8 a.m. on Feb. 14 and most of the campaigning will be done online on social media pages, instead of having meet and greet events.
Before voting ends, all of the candidates will be present at the Wild Whiskers event that is slated to take place on April 4. Voters will then have a few more days to get their ballots in as all voting closes at midnight on April 7. Then, Divide’s new mayor will be announced to the public on April 8 at noon.