UPAWS officials talk future shelter plans

MARQUETTE– The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter is planning to build a new shelter for its animals. The new plans aim to be more inviting for the community and offer more animal specific shelter.

The current shelter was built in 1978 with problems including space, black mold, and no room to train volunteers and possible pet owners. At the new building, cats, dogs, and critters will have their own “colonies”.

Animal specific areas allow possible owners to get to know an animals’ personality.

“Also included in our floor plan is a training room, family education room, about animal empathy and what it takes to be a responsible dog owner,” said UPAWS executive director Kori Tossava.

This will be the only shelter in the U.P. to be able to care for horses. Volunteer vets will be on site as well to spay and neuter animals.

Shelter animals aren’t the only ones gaining more space in the move. UPAWS is designing a two acre dog park open to dog lovers.

“Bring your dog out there, run its energy off in a safe location if you live in town or just another place to meet people who also love dogs,” Tossava said. “That is one of the most exciting things that we want to be able to provide the community. This is going to be more than just a shelter.”

Children Birthday Parties can be hosted at the shelter. Other ways to create funding outside of donations such as a retail area are in the works as well.