Today, after 40 years at their location in Negaunee off US-41, the county’s animal shelter made the move to their brand new facility in Sands Township. Marq-Tran donated the use of a bus to help UPAWS staff move the animals in one easy trip! Driver Dave Mahan donated his morning to helping load the vehicle with all of the cats from UPAWS and transport them to the new location while the staff took the four or five dogs individually. In total, 20 to 25 animals, including two guinea pigs, made their way to their new “home” today, where they will stay until they find their forever homes.
“It’s just another one of the great things Marq-Tran gets to do for our community.” -Dave Mahan, Driver for Marquette County Transit Authority
Prior to the move, UPAWS hosted a “Moving Adoption Sale” sponsored by MI Internet Company that allowed the shelter to reduce the number of animals they needed to transport, while still finding the animals approved, loving forever homes.
Walking through the new shelter, it is clear that the building was designed to not only be larger, but also incorporate a new way of thinking when it comes to animal welfare. While taking a tour with Capital Campaign Manager Kori Tossava, she mentioned the new facility offers “individual comforting environments for an animal based of their species and based on their personality.” Examples of these individual spaces include cat colonies, cat condos, “Real Life” rooms for dogs who stay long-term, and dog kennels based on size. All of these innovative decisions made during the building process will help UPAWS staff house pets in a place that is as comfortable as possible for the animals until they are adopted.
“Besides what we have going on right now with the new animal shelter and how we house animals, we are really looking forward to the future. We have the Community Education Center and to be kind of a hub of animal welfare in Marquette County. To get a bunch of dedicated animal lovers together and this is where we can do it, in our Community Room. Members of Marquette County have been so supportive of us for the last four years, so we are really excited to be a better neighbor and provide more services. ” -Kori Tossava, UPAWS Capital Campaign Manager
Usually open seven days a week, during this move the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter had to close for two weeks. Part of the first week was bringing everything from the 40 years at their Negaunee facility over to the new building. Next week the staff will be hard at work putting everything in it’s new location and coming up with new protocols to keep the building clean and safe as well as getting the animals familiar with the new location.
When will UPAWS reopen?
During these two weeks the shelter will not be doing any pet adoptions, however they will still accept strays and surrenders, but you must call or email in advance and make an appointment. The shelter currently plans to reopen at the new location on Tuesday, January 29th. Follow the shelter on Facebook for continuous updates or visit the UPAWS website.
Still to come:
The shell for the large animal barn is up, but the interior will be finished during the spring or summer. The shelter has done horse rescues since 2001, but only on a foster basis. Now they will have their own barn for large animals!
The facility has a two acre lot in the back that will fenced in this spring as a dog park.
The Community Education center is still being set up as a location for volunteer training sessions, community education opportunities, birthday parties, and even possibly “Petflix and Chill”!