NEGAUNEE — The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter recently completed the acquisition of new land south of Marquette.

They purchased the tract of land from the Marquette County Fair and it sits just north of the fairgrounds. The new land offers the opportunity for a larger facility.

“We have many concerns about our current shelter building and it’s not feasible at this point for us to expand or renovate our current shelter,” said Melanie Bell, Vice President of the UPAWS Board of Directors. “We’ve also reached capacity for the number of animals that we’re seeing each year.

It’s not commonly known that UPAWS cares for neglected horses among the other pets it sees to and the new property will allow for a barn and stable.

One question people may have is, considering the shelter is a non-profit, why the land wasn’t donated.

“The fair operates, as well, as a non-profit, with land being one of their greatest assets, and so it was responsible of them,” Bell said. “We agreed that it was appropriate for us to purchase the land. They have been supporters of UPAWS and we are thankful for our partnership with them.”

The current facility was built in 1977 as a pound for strays and was not designed for long-term stays.

Because UPAWS is a no-kill shelter it is difficult to find the space to give the animals comfort.