The effect of the economy on animal adoption

MARQUETTE — The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, like so many other shelters, has been experiencing a lot of things out of its control.

UPAWS has recently seen its adoption numbers radically decrease, with the animal return rate increasing. Though it might seem like the pandemic would be most at fault for this, it appears that the economy’s recent downward trend is what is doing the most damage.

“It has impacted people where they need to make a choice, where they can put food on the table for their family or for their pets,” UPAWS Executive Director Bill Brutto said. “Of course, we want the best for the entire family, including (our) animals.”

When asked about how that has affected day-to-day operations at the shelter, Brutto said, “We’re at full capacity and with dogs, even well past 100 percent.”

However, Brutto remains excited about the mission of UPAWS, saying that despite being at full capacity, the shelter is still open and ready to help the community.

UPAWS is currently best reached by appointment, as the feline population at the shelter are all finishing up with their vaccines following the recent outbreak. Brutto said the shelter has the outbreak completely contained.

For area residents that may have pets but are struggling to care for them, UPAWS does have a pet food pantry available, as well as some discount Medical assistance.

UPAWS boasts a save rate of 99.4%, which is the best for its size in the entire state.

While it is not accepting any volunteers at this time, the best way to assist is to donate at upaws.org.

Brennan White can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is bwhite@miningjournal.net.


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