UPAWS good works results in $50,000 award from Petco

The people that run the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter got a big piece of good news recently when it was revealed that the organization had been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Petco Foundation.

The announcement came at the organization’s annual open house. The funding was awarded under the foundation’s Holiday Wishes Award program.

UPAWS was the only shelter in the Upper Peninsula to receive funds under the program and one of just two in the state so recognized.

The way all of this happened was as follows: Thousands of pet owners, passionate about how their furry or feathered friends had changed their lives for the better, wrote letters to Petco, a foundation dedicated to creating a better world for animals and the people who love them, according to the organization’s website.

Ultimately, Petco selected 52 finalists from the letters with the U.P.’s Kimberly Randolph and her pet cat Ruger being one of them.

Randolph said she long considered herself a dog person but in 2015, she met Ruger and knew she had to adopt him.

Since then, the pair have gone just about everywhere together, including kayaking and trail hiking.

Now, Randolph and Ruger are in the running for the separate Holiday Wishes People’s Choice Award, which could see an additional $25,000 awarded to UPAWS if they win.

According to a Mining Journal story on the matter, all funding — including the $50,000 award — will go toward the construction of the new UPAWS building in Sands Township, the groundbreaking for which took place in August. Voting goes until Dec. 20 and is free. Just one vote is allowed per Facebook profile. The poll can be found at www.petcofoundation.org/vote.

We recognize, as so many have, the good work going on at UPAWS, day to day, and further encourage readers to support Randolph and Ruger in the Facebook balloting.