UPAWS campaign surpasses goals

NEGAUNEE– The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter is halfway to their $3.7 million fundraising goal to build a well needed, new shelter.

Back in October the organization launched the Imagine the PAWSibilites campaign. The $100,000 campaign goal was surpassed by $230,000 at the end of December.

“Poor water issues, mold issues, just a whole host of problems that we have here,” Kori Tossava, Executive Director of UPaws said, “Staying here isn’t an option, expanding here isn’t an option because we’re surrounded by rock, bluff, and swamp. As we started planning for the new shelter imagine if, imagine if we didn’t have to fight this facility. We got information from staff, from volunteers, from adopters, from board members, about what we could be and that’s where all these ideas came from.”

UPAWS received donations from 250 community members and a matching donation from the Troudt Fund of the Community foundation of Marquette County. Tossava said the additional programs will help the community, as well as animals.

“A small critter room, right now our rabbits are located in our lobby. Rabbits, rats, birds, they are always there. They don’t have a place of their own. On top of this, we get to have a community education room, we can’t do this on site. We can’t teach kids about dog bite safety or about empathy for animals, those are things we just don’t have the ability to do in our current location we’re jam packed.”

Some other programs available will be an on cite animal clinic, volunteer training, and a dog park. UPAWS hopes to break ground this coming Spring, once they have eighty percent of the funding. The new shelter will be on 20 acres of land in Sands Township.

If you’d like to donate to UPAWS, a link to do so can be found here