UPAWS, community does great job in helping needy cats

We have often lauded the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter for its many, many good works in the community.

This time, UPAWS and the community itself went above and beyond to take a terrible situation and start turning things to right.

What happened was 40 cats were found in a home and UPAWS was asked to help authorities handle these felines, many of whom needed more than tender loving care, but medical attention.

UPAWS reached out on its Facebook page to try to secure some assistance for these animals and boy, did the community respond. Within days, more than $8,000 was raised to help care for these cats and secure the services they need.

“We are so thankful to the community for the donations that they provided,” said UPAWS Executive Director Kori Tossava in a story by Journal Staff Writer Trinity Carey. “We’re really great at rehoming cats, but sometimes 40 is a lot in one kitten caboodle. It is awe inspiring if nothing else. We oftentimes just say gosh could you guys help us out if this comes in and I think it really lends itself to know that Marquette County and our community is so supportive of our mission of making sure that animals are taken care of that we’re here to be able to help them. Humbled, shocked and inspired all at the same time.”

UPAWS reports the cats are in varying physical condition, some with ear mites or with upper respiratory problems or fleas and a few pregnant cats as well. The donations will go directly toward the medical care plan in place for treating the rescued cats who besides care for their injuries will need to be brought up to date on their vaccinations and spayed or neutered before being adopted.

As always, veterinarian staff from UPAWS and vets throughout the community will come together to nurse the cats back to health.

Tossava said emergency rescue situations like this can be a learning opportunity for the community.

“What we really like to do when things like this come up is really encourage people to contact us if they get out of control,” Tossava said. “Spay/neutering of cats is very, very important in order to keep the cat population down. Oftentimes, if cats are not spayed or neutered they do have a tendency to multiply to the point where some people are unable to manage them.”

Which reminds us that UPAWS offers a variety of programs to help pet owners whose animals are in need of such services as spaying or neutering as well as a pet food pantry for those who may be having a hard time feeding their pets.

“We like to continually encourage people to spay and neuter their pets and if ever a life situation comes up and you need help please always feel free to reach out to us and if we can’t help you, we can try to direct you to some different community resources,” Tossava said. “We are here as an open admission shelter to understand that circumstances in people’s lives change and if there’s a point in time where they need some help with their animals and rehoming them and or surrendering them, we’re here to take maybe that one stressor off of their plate, maybe a bit more.”

Thank you to UPAWS and the community as a whole for stepping up when needed.