Wash N’ Wag tales

Local pups take advantage of UPAWS event

Heather Bertucci of Northern Veterinarian Associates clips the ails of Bobo the bulldog at the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter's annual Wash N' Wag fundraising event. Proceeds from the the event go toward the everyday costs of running the shelter.

MARQUETTE — Pet lovers and their pups gathered at Tourist Park Campground Saturday for the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter’s annual Wash N’ Wag fundraiser.

Dogs could be pampered with a $15 dog wash, $5 nail trim, ear cleaning or conditioner and $20 for microchipping.

“So it’s a steal if you’re used to taking your dog for regular grooming or to the vet for those things,” said UPAWS Board member Amber Talo. “This is a great way for cost savings for you, but it’s all a strict donation right to UPAWS. This is just a really fun way to pamper your pup in the summertime, take them out to get a dog wash or a nail trim or a microchip. Microchipping is the best way to get your pet back home safely if they go missing. It’s a quick and easy process.”

All proceeds raised during the event go toward the day-to-day expenses of operating UPAWS. This includes the cost of vaccinating, spaying and neutering animals when they arrive at the shelter, food and to the wonderful staff that takes care of the animals and keeps the shelter up and running, Talo added.

“We don’t receive any government funding or any type of funding anywhere else,” Talo said. “We rely on our friends and neighbors, and this is a fun way to do it.”

She enjoys seeing the community come out to spend time with their furry best friends all while raising money for the local shelter.

Also present at the fundraiser was Happy Dog Grooming Salon, Northern Veterinarian Associates and TacoMo Dog Training.

“This is a really great community event where a lot of the volunteers that you see here, a lot of them have done this for years now, so it’s really cool that we get to have the same people,” Talo said. “It’s especially special this year I would say, that we’ve had a lot of pets that were adopted out from UPAWS come visit us and it’s really awesome to get to see them again and spend some time with them and see how they are thriving and see that transformation. We see them when they come to us, and they’re a little bit scared, shy or sad. To see that transformation and get to see them happy, living the life and having a great time here was really cool.”

A lemonade stand was set up at the event for local youth to run who were interested in helping the animals of UPAWS.

While Wash N’ Wag has been taking place for about a decade, this is just the fourth year it has taken place at Tourist Park.

“If you want to go take your dog for a swim before their bath, that’s a good opportunity or take them for a walk to dry off,” Talo said. “So it’s really all about spending time with your best friend.”

This year was particularly busy, so Talo is hopeful that UPAWS broke its record on funds raised at the event, but typically Wash N’ Wags raises between $1,500 and $2,000 for the shelter, she said.

“I just want to thank the community for coming out and supporting us and bringing their pets to visit us,” Talo said. “There’s nothing that we love more than seeing your dog thriving and living a really good life with you.”

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is photos@miningjournal.net.