NEGAUNEE — The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter announced that they were selected as a finalist for a Holiday Wishes Award, sponsored by the Petco Foundation.

Thousands of adoption stories were submitted to the contest, but one from Kimberly Randolph and her cat, Ruger, secured the win for UPAWS.

Fifty-two shelters overall were picked as finalists across the United States, but UPAWS was the only one in the Upper Peninsula and one of two in the state of Michigan to be selected.

As a finalist, UPAWS has the opportunity to win an additional $25,000, but the community has to vote them as the People’s Choice Award. Click HERE to read Kimberly and Ruger’s story and click HERE to vote for them!

The press release in its entirety is below.

On November 15, the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter was excited to announce that we were selected for a Holiday Wishes Award from Petco Foundation, in partnership with Petco. The award was given thanks to an adoption story submitted by Kimberly Randolph, about her adopted adventure cat, Ruger. Thousands of stories were submitted for the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes grant and a total of 52 were chosen.  UPAWS is the ONLY chosen shelter in the Upper Peninsula and one of two chosen in the State of Michigan.
As a Holiday Wishes award finalist, UPAWS has the opportunity to earn up to an additional $25,000– but we need your help! We need you to vote for us for the People’s Choice Award Competition! Voting is free and must be done via Facebook poll.
All 52 winning stories are in the running for the $25,000 People’s Choice Award. We need YOU to vote for us so we can extend our lifesaving power this holiday season and beyond. We are encouraging all community members to visit the Petco Foundation’s Facebook Page and vote for UPAWS: Kimberly Randolph’s story titled, “Adopted Cat has Thirst for Adventure!”
Votes must be cast directly via the poll on the Petco Foundation’s Facebook page and only one vote per Facebook profile. Voting ends on December 20 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Go to to read Kimberly’s story and find out how to vote.
You can read all of the Holiday Wishes finalist stories at
Thank you for helping to make our Holiday Wishes come true! VOTE TODAY!