Two years ago Shelburne Town Clerk Diana Vachon decided to do something creative to get cat and dog owners to register their pets with the town and the cat and dog of the year awards were born.
At Tuesday night’s Selectboard meeting, retired local vet Dr. Steven Metz did the honor of picking this year’s winners from the pool of registered cats and dogs.
Metz said he has been “fighting for the licensing of cats for years and years and years.” He said he always thought it important to warn people of cat bites and cats’ likelihood for carrying rabies because they often come into contact with wild animals.
Picking a card from a basket, Metz read off the name “Boomer” as the dog of the year. Boomer is a 10-year-old black Australian Labradoodle belonging to Roger Preis.
The pick for cat of the year brought laughter from everyone in the room. Moshe, a one-eyed cat belonging to Selectboard member Dr. Josh Dein was the name on the cat card Metz pulled from the registrations.
Dein, who often recuses himself from conversations involving Vermont Railway, asked if there was a conflict of interest with Moshe accepting the award. Amidst chuckles, the board reassured him there was no conflict.
The cat and dog of the year winners get treats and gifts donated from local businesses such as pet food and pet care products. Their photos will also be posted soon on the town’s website for the year.