PetSmart holding UPAWS toy drive

Playing with toys isn’t just for small children.

Cats and dogs love toys as well, and UPAWS has partnered with PetSmart to help bring new toys to homeless animals. Throughout the month of February, PetSmart is holding a toy drive. All of the toys collected will be donated to UPAWS.

“The toy drive is great to benefit our animals because it provides new enrichment items for our pets to play with,” UPAWS community outreach coordinator Melanie Bell said. “It keeps them busy during their stay here at the shelter.”

Toys and playtime also make pets more social and allow them to release pent up energy. Toy drives are just a small part of PetSmart’s mission, though. Due to the large number of homeless pets in the country, PetSmart has always adopted pets rather than sold them. More than 21,000 animals’ lives were saved in the last year thanks to adoption efforts. The pet store and UPAWS have also partnered up to help get pets adopted.

“They’re actually our in-store partner as well, so any of the cats you see in the store are UPAWS cats,” acting PetSmart Marquette Township store manager Alana Carrott said. “Most of our charities programs work with UPAWS directly.”

The toy drive runs through the end of February.