UPAWS thankful

To the Journal editor:

The dream that inspired the ‘Imagine the PAWSibilities’ capital campaign has become a reality for the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter.

As a result of the overwhelming generosity and support of our community, on Tuesday, UPAWS proudly opened the Ruth and Philip Spade Adoption Center to the public. Located at 815 M-553 in Sands Township, this state-of-the-art facility is designed to provide the best physical and emotional environment for delivering care to sheltered animals.

From the floor plan to the colors on the walls; the complex air handling systems to the surgery/treatment center; the dog walking trail to the real-life rooms; every decision in the construction of this new shelter was made to reduce stress and fear for the animals and prevent the spread of pathogens.

Our new home will be a healthier, more interactive environment for our staff, volunteers, and the community we serve.

The new shelter allows UPAWS to expand the services we offer to the community. It will soon include a surgery and treatment center for area veterinarians to use for spay and neuter procedures; reducing the stress caused by transporting animals.

The 1,300 square foot Cliffs/Eagle Mine Community Room can be used for obedience training, meetings, events, and celebrations. A two-acre fenced-in Dog Park will provide a safe, secure area to let dogs be dogs (summer 2019).

A horse barn to temporarily house large animal neglect cases, and an off-season hay bank for horse owners in need. And more space and opportunities for volunteers, public engagement, and school programs that engage the next generation of animal welfare advocates.

Construction of the new shelter was done by local contractors and financing provided by a local bank to maximize the economic give-back to the community that supports our work. This is a project of the community and for the community.

We are so grateful for the support of all our donors, who believe in the mission of UPAWS and recognized the need for a new shelter. We extend thanks to the wide range of supporters that made this dream a reality: from individuals and businesses, students and organizations, foundations and local municipalities.

We pledge to continue our work in earnest, until our vision is a realty: A community where there are no homeless, neglected or abused animals, and where everyone understands and practices the level of commitment and responsibility that pet guardianship entails.

KATHY LEONE

Board President

On behalf of the UPAWS Board of Directors and Staff