Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter

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News & Updates


Thank you to our local media partners for sponsoring the New Animal Community Center!  We could not tell our story without your help!

Pet Education Library


Real Life Room

Landscape Sponsors in Community Dog Park 


The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter is excited to announce a $100,000 matching gift for our Imagine the PAWSibilities Campaign for a new shelter.  The gift will be used toward to the $3.7M fundraising goal and every dollar given to the new shelter campaign will be matched.

The matching gift is given by Mr. Martin Steindler, in memory of his wife, Joan.  Joan was a long-time advocate for the no-kill movement and lover of golden retrievers.  The Steindlers have spent over 35 years coming to Marquette County during the summers and have been committed to animal shelters that ‘take whoever walks in the door’.  Kori Tossava, UPAWS Executive Director, stated, “We are so grateful for this gift in memory of Joan and for the support of Mr. and Mrs. Steindler over the years. As we move closer to realizing our dream of a new animal shelter, we are also dreaming of ways that it can be so much more- that it can engage the community in ways we just can’t right now.  Our successes in the no-kill movement would not be possible without the support of our community and this matching gift will help move UPAWS into a new generation of no-kill.  Joan’s legacy will benefit homeless animals for years to come!”

The current UPAWS facility was built in 1978 and expanded in 1988. Animal intake and services at UPAWS has grown dramatically since its inception 40 years ago, but not the shelter space. An average of 1,500 animals come through UPAWS open-admission, no kill shelter each year. UPAWS performs the crucial role of finding homes for homeless animals, as well as reuniting lost pets with their families, and is a leader in the no-kill movement by consistently reaching an award-winning 98% Save Rate.

Beyond the small building size, many other issues compound the problem of providing a healthy and comfortable space for homeless animals, staff, and volunteers. Building issues include: poor ventilation, power shortages, low water pressure, uneven heat distribution, mold, leaking roof, and close, small quarters creating high stress levels for animals, all of which generates a tougher adoption environment. Caring staff and volunteers at UPAWS have succeeded in making the best effort to run the shelter effectively and efficiently, but the building still lacks in meeting the basic needs for both animals and the community. The Animal Community Center will provide better comfort and care for our animal companions, as well as community space and expanded services.

The Imagine the PAWSibilities Campaign to raise $3.7 million is underway. Over $2.2M has been raised and dedicated to the Animal Community Center, but we have a long way to go. As animal shelters are held to higher standards, as well as serving more diverse needs, it takes a cooperative spirit to fulfill the goal of a new facility that serves our animal companion needs and the community as a whole.


The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter is pleased to announce mBank’s support of the Imagine the PAWSibilities Capital Campaign.  As a lead giver in the campaign for an animal community center, mBank has sponsored landscaping at the new shelter.

About mBank: mBank has 23 branch locations, with 12 in the Upper Peninsula, 3 in the Northern Lower Peninsula, 1 in Oakland County, MI and 7 in Northern Wisconsin. The Company’s banking services include commercial lending and treasury management products and services geared toward small to mid-sized businesses, as well as a full array of personal and business deposit products and consumer loans.  mBank’s vision is to be a strong, dynamic, and proactive thinking company determined to excel at the highest level.

About UPAWS: To date, UPAWS has raised approximately $2.2M of the $3.7M project to build an animal shelter that can be more than an animal shelter, it can be an animal community center. The campaign will retire 40 year old facility that currently houses UPAWS and the 1,500 animals that come through the doors every year. UPAWS has a consistent award winning 98% save rate and is in dire need of a new facility. To find out more about UPAWS and the capital campaign, visit upaws.org or email ktossava@upaws.org.

Pictured- Left to Right –
Jamie Van Buren, Teresa Same, Kori Tossava (UPAWS Executive Director) & Rufus, Bethany Cody


The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter is pleased to announce support from the Upper Peninsula Health Plan for the Imagine the PAWSibilities Capital Campaign. UPHP sponsored UPAWS Staff Offices by providing approximately $10,000 of furnishings and equipment for the new shelter. Dennis Smith, UPHP President & CEO, stated, “We understand the stress and financial burden that moving to a new location can cause. Donating our used office furniture and appliances will not only help UPAWS function successfully and smoothly, but allow staff to focus on the needs of the pets and the potential owners taking in the wonderful animals that they help.” THANK YOU Upper Peninsula Health Plan for your support!

About UPHP: The mission of UPHP is to be an innovative health plan managing the care of our members in the Upper Peninsula guiding them to quality, cost-effective care through our network of providers improving the overall health of the communities we serve. To learn more about UPHP and their services, visit uphp.com.


Pictured- Left to Right – Back Row: Chelsey Poirier, Sara Bjork, Nicole Jacobson, Scott Lyman, Bridget Uren, Jackie Bessner, Tracy Magnuson
Front Row: Kori Tossava (UPAWS Executive Director), Coleen Pepin

The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter is pleased to announce Iron Range Agency‘s support of the Imagine the PAWSibilities Capital Campaign. Iron Range Agency has graciously sponsored the Outdoor Play Yard at the new shelter.

About Iron Range Agency: Iron Range Agency, located in Ishpeming, consists of a management team that has a combined total of over 100 years with the agency. They continue to operate with the same core values and customer service standards that have been the foundation of the agency since it started in 1971. Community involvement is a cornerstone value at Iron Range Agency, as it supports a number of community organizations and employees are active in many local and civic organizations throughout Marquette County. To find out more about Iron Range Agency visit www.ironrangeagency.com



 At its sold-out annual fundraising gala the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter announced the public kick-off for the Imagine the PAWSibilites: Campaign for an Animal Community Center.  The kick-off included a $100,000 challenge match from the Troudt Fund at the Community Foundation of Marquette County. From October 22 through December 31 every dollar given to the capital campaign would be matched.

UPAWS reached $100,000 in gifts on December 29th; at that time Mark and Christine Troudt pledged another $10,000 to match any gift received or postmarked before the end of the year.  At the completion of the challenge, UPAWS is excited to announce that approximately $120,000 was given in honor of the Troudt Challenge and will now receive the full $110,000 challenge gift! And these gifts came from over 250 individual donors, businesses, and foundations. The board, staff, and volunteers of UPAWS are honored to have such amazing support from the community.

Now that the Imagine the PAWSibilities Campaign to raise $3.7 million is underway, with the support of the Troudt Fund and the community, approximately $2.05M (55%) has been raised. However, UPAWS still has a long way to go. Construction will depend on reaching 80% of the fundraising goal, with an expected groundbreaking in 2017.

Contact Us

Phone: (906) 475-6661
Fax: (906) 475-6669
Email: info@upaws.org

Office Hours

Mon-Wed: 12pm to 4pm
Thursday: 12pm to 6:30pm
Friday-Sunday: 12pm-4pm


84 Snowfield Road
Negaunee Township
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