NEGAUNEE - At its second annual No-Kill Conference, the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance recognized Marquette County as one of Michigan's 11 no-kill communities.
Reva Laituri, president of the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter in Negaunee Township, said to qualify for the community award, the county must have achieved a save rate of at least 90 precent.
"To put into perspective what a monumental achievement this is, consider the following," Laituri said. "There are only 50 no-kill communities in the nation. Eleven of them are in Michigan and seven of those 11 are in the Upper Peninsula. That means 22 percent, or nearly a quarter, of the nation's no-kill communities are in Michigan and 14 percent of the nation's no-kill communities are in the Upper Peninsula."
Laituri said that in addition to Marquette, other U.P. counties receiving the award include Gogebic, Keweenaw, Houghton, Baraga, Alger and Chippewa.
"It is the mission of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance to make the State of Michigan the first no-kill state in the nation," she said.
Laituri said UPAWS wants to honor those in the Marquette area who helped make winning the award possible.
"Because this award belongs to the community, UPAWS would like to offer local businesses and organizations that have supported the mission to re-home the community's animals the opportunity to 'foster' the award for a period of time in their location," Laituri said. "Businesses or organizations fostering the award will be highlighted on the UPAWS website. Those wishing to become a stop on the award's tour are asked to contact UPAWS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 475-6661."
Laituri said applications for a permanent home for the award following the tour are also being accepted.
Also, for the third consecutive year, UPAWS won the award for having the best save rate of all medium-sized, open-admission shelters in the State of Michigan. In 2011, UPAWS had a save rate of 96 percent.