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Durango Chamber of Commerce announces winners of Top Dog, Coolest Cat contests

Cayenne is the first-place winner in the Top Dog contest. (Courtesy of Durango Chamber of Commerce)

Durango Chamber of Commerce announces winners of the Top Dog and Coolest Cat contests, with Cayenne winning Top Dog and Orpheus winning Coolest Cat.

A total of 107 dogs and cats vied for the title of top pet during 30 days of competitive voting. A Yappy Hour to celebrate the winners and present a check to the contest beneficiary was held at Bird’s restaurant Wednesday.

With 1,710 votes, Cayenne claimed the title of 2021 Top Dog. Cayenne’s photo is featured on the label of a limited production of Steamworks Colorado Kolsch called Cayenne’s K-9 Kolsch.

Cayenne was trained as a working dog and assisted La Plata County Search and Rescue. She was the first dog on the scene in the Mark Redwine case and found one of the first pieces of crucial evidence.

Cayenne’s human, Roy Vreeland, is a longtime member of La Plata County Search and Rescue and the two have been instrumental in a variety of search efforts in the area. Vreeland informed the Chamber of Cayenne’s death last weekend.

“We are heartbroken to learn of Cayenne’s recent passing, and we extend our condolences to Cayenne’s family,” said Jack Llewellyn, Durango Chamber executive director. “We will celebrate Cayenne’s life and all that she contributed over the years to our community by raising a glass of Kolsch in her honor.”

Second-place winner Suki is a rescue dog and loves to backpack. Third-place winner is 9-year-old Maddie May, who was adopted from La Plata County Humane Society when she was 5 months old. Both Suki and Maddie May will debut on the back of the Steamworks’ Cayenne K-9 Kolsch beer labels.

All Top Dog winners receive the Steamworks Cayenne K-9 Kolsch, gift certificates from Pet Haus, a photo session with Allison Ragsdale Photography, a water bowl from Alpine Bank and a goody bag from the Chamber.

“Last year’s contest was a great success featuring the canines of Durango, so this year, we decided to add our feline friends to the mix,” said Llewellyn. “It was a fun addition that brought some great cat personalities to light.”

The first-place winner of the Coolest Cat in Durango is Orpheus, a 9-year-old cancer survivor and “cat about town.” Orpheus enjoys leash-hiking the upper Hermosa Creek Trail, relaxing with one foot in the air and drinking from the toilet. Orpheus’ laid-back, foot-raised photo is featured on the front label of Steamworks’ Orphie’s Cat-a-Tonic Kolsch.

Orpheus is first-place winner in the Coolest Cat contest. (Courtesy of Durango Chamber of Commerce)

The second-place winner is Ramone, who adopted his human, Susan, and the third-place Coolest Cat winner is 12-year-old Peach, a social cat who loves yoga. Both Ramone and Peach are featured on the back of the Cat-a-Tonic Kolsch beer label.

All three of the Cool Cat winners receive the Steamworks Cat-a-Tonic Kolsch, gift certificates from Pet Haus, a photo session with Allison Ragsdale Photography, a water bowl from Alpine Bank and a goodie bag from the Chamber.

The Top Dog & Coolest Cat Contest raised money for Parker’s Animal Rescue, formerly Lisa Parker’s Puppies, a foster-based rescue that finds permanent homes for dogs and cats in La Plata County and the rural Four Corners.

Contest partners included: Alpine Bank, The Durango Herald, Four Corners Broadcasting, Steamworks Brewing, Pet Haus, Allison Ragsdale Photography and Marketing Concepts Squared. The contest raised $7,000 for Parker’s Animal Rescue.

The special-production beer is available for purchase at Steamworks Brewing and Bird’s Restaurant. For every four-pack sold, Steamworks will donate $2 to Parker’s Animal Rescue.