UPAWS gets funding from taxpayer donations

NEGAUNEE — If you’re expecting a tax refund this year, there’s a special option available for you to donate to several different organizations, including one that helps with local animal shelters.

Michigan taxpayers can donate five dollars or more to the Animal Welfare Fund, which has been helping the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter for the past couple of years.

“For two years, it helped us spay and neuter the pets in our shelter to receive a 100% spay and neuter rate at UPAWS. And this year, it’s helping us do some advertising to encourage people to adopt from local animal shelters,” Van Strein said.

During that time, UPAWS has received an average of $7,000 per year and it’s been very beneficial to their cause.

“UPAWS, as any animal shelter in any county, serves a very important purpose. We’re here to provide services to the community to re–home their pets. A lot of times, for whatever reason, people can’t keep their pets. We want to help them find a safe place for that pet to go,” said Van Strein.

27 animal shelter centers in the entire state were awarded grant money from the fund this year, the most since its inception in 2010. To date, animal shelters have received over $880,000 in grants.