Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter

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Home for the Holidays Kennel Lock-Up Fundraiser

We’re locking up local celebrities, and you hold the key!

Will you donate TOWARDS their bail or to INCREASE their bail?

Our local celebrities will each start out with a $500 goal to raise their “bail/adoption fee” to get home for the holidays!

On Thursday, December 10th we’re giving our participants a chance to experience kennel life to not only help raise funds to benefit homeless animals in UPAWS care, but to bring awareness to our mission and how important it is to find each animal a home.

This is a competition! When you donate to BAIL OUT our celebrities, you are donating TOWARDS their goal. Want to challenge our competitors? When you donate to INCREASE BAIL, you are increasing their fundraising goal and therefore increasing their time in lock-up until they’ve reached their goal! For celebrities who surpass their goal by December 10th, they’ll receive the minimum sentence of 1 hour in lock-up. The celebrity team that raises the most bail for UPAWS will receive a trophy and photo shoot with their pet!

Meet our celebrities, and help them meet their goal to get home for the holidays!

In return, you’ll help ensure the animals at UPAWS do too.

Make your donation online today to help our celebrities reach their goal! If you’d prefer to mail in a donation, please download our Mail-in Donation Form! Mail-in donations must be postmarked NO LATER than Friday, December 4th to be counted towards their bail! Mail-In Form Link.

Donations are manually updated. (They will not automatically update) Please see below for date/time of last update. We will update BAIL OUT received and INCREASE BAIL amounts as quickly as possible!

Totals Last Updated: 12/4/2020 4:30pm

Sarah Blakely

Bail $540 $1010.00

Sarah Blakely

WLUC-TV News Co-Anchor

I’m Sarah Blakely, TV6 evening news co-anchor. I am the proud “dog mom” of a darling 3 ½-year-old Border Aussie, Beesly. She and I are thrilled to once again be supporting UPAWS through another exciting fundraiser! Animals are such a special gift, and I can’t imagine life without Beesly. She is simply a joy to be around—just ask anyone who has met her!

The mission at UPAWS—improving the quality of life and welfare for animals and finding them loving, lifelong homes—is exactly what I dreamed for Beesly when I brought her into my home, and it’s what I dream for all domestic animals. The pandemic has hurt a lot of places financially, and our animal shelters have taken a hit, too. It’s my pleasure to help raise money for UPAWS to continue caring for animals and provide them the love and attention they deserve!

Dr. Tim Hunt

Bail $1130 $970

Dr. Tim Hunt

Veterinarian and Owner of Bayshore Veterinary Hospital

I have been a veterinarian since graduating from Michigan State University in 1989 and opened Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in 1993.  I also have been both a race veterinarian and a musher since 1994.  Having a kennel of sled dogs, I have raced my dogs in Europe, Canada, the lower 48, and Alaska, along with 16 times in the UP200. I also began Dr. Tim's Pet Food in 2004, which we donate to be used at UPAWS for the animals fed at the local shelter.  My wife and I have 18 retired sled dogs now, along with 2 house dogs, 2 cats, and 2 granddaughters who live close enough to visit nearly every day.

Sherriff Greg Zyburt

Bail $900 $750

Sherriff Greg Zyburt

Marquette County Sheriff

Photo Caption: Sheriff Zyburt and Department Drug Dog Tucker

Throughout my whole life, dogs have been part of it for the best of times and the worst of times. They never judge and are always happy to see you even if you just left and went back in to retrieve your forgotten keys. I’ve seen the difference pets have made in so many people’s lives throughout my career as a police officer for 40 years. UPAWS has always assisted my departments and me anytime we needed them in assistance to help animals in need. Now it’s my turn to give back. Please donate to this great cause!

Matt Johnson

Bail $800 $665

Matt Johnson

Eagle Mine External Affairs Manager

Co-founder Sally's Fund

Photo Caption:  Matt Johnson and his adopted sled dog, Peaches (2004-2020)

When Cheri I were married in 1996 we bought a farm, moved in our horses and adopted a puppy named Sasha.  I remember bringing Sasha home for the first time feeling the overwhelming sense of responsibility I had to care for her and raise her as a member of our family.  Little did I know those decisions would lead us on a journey to be the founders of a horse rescue program called Sally’s Fund.  Over the past 17 years our rescue program has saved over 80 horses and lead us to be long-time volunteers and partners with UPAWS.  Through my careers and leadership positions I continued to have opportunities to leverage resources with law enforcement, companies, and community organizations all to benefit our four legged friends.

What I will always be grateful for is the bond we have with our animals, and although we all struggle with and mourn their loss, it is that relationship I believe all animals should have the opportunity to have with someone.  This is why I volunteer for UPAWS and continue to support finding homes where animals will be safe.

Rick Rhoades

Bail $600 $650

Rick Rhoades

Rick Rhoades Vice President/General Manager of WLUC-TV

I’ve been working at TV6 for over 17 years and have worked with UPAWS on a number of promotional events and fundraising events through TV6. I’ve always been proud of our partnership with UPAWS and TV6.  I’m also a pet owner. My family and I have two cats (Max and Miley) and one dog (Ivan). My family believes in the UPAWS mission and understand why it needs the full support of the community. I’m happy to help support UPAWS in this fundraiser. With my many contacts in the community, I feel like I can help make a big impact in this fundraiser!

Sherry McCarthy

Bail $700 $575

Sherry McCarthy

Select Realty Realtor

I am a Realtor at Select Realty and a member of the Upper Peninsula Association of Realtors, Michigan Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.   Born and raised in Negaunee, I have lived here most of my life, except for a few years in Texas.   Realizing that the U.P. was home, and always will be, I returned and worked in the Gaming and Mining industries before deciding my passion was to help others.  As a proud graduate of NMU with a Bachelor's of Science in Finance, Real Estate seemed logical!    In that regard, entering Real Estate gave me the flexibility to work directly with people in my community and the ability to participate in community events and fundraisers.  Select Realty, being a locally owned Agency, along with their significant contributions of time and money to care for our communities in the Upper Peninsula, was a good fit for me as I saw the impact they have with groups such as UPAWS.  As an animal lover, with a house run, not by the adults, but by 3 dogs and a cat, it seemed logical to assist whenever possible.

My dogs want you to know that they would appreciate it if you help bail me out as quickly as possible.  Treat-time is in serious jeopardy of being delayed, and they are concerned.

Pat & Bill Digneit

Bail $500 $545

Bill Digneit

Partner of DIGS Street Food & Spirit

Co-Owner of Double Trouble Entertainment

Hi, I am William "Bill" Digneit, and I am the current Department Head of Theatre and Dance at Northern Michigan University.  I am also the Co-Owner of Double Trouble Entertainment, a Michigan based entertainment and production company focusing on nightclub design and outdoor events. In addition, I am a partner of the world-famous Digs Gastropub in Marquette.  Finally, I am the Conference Production Manager of the LDI Trade Show in Las Vegas.  Although I have many jobs, my most important is being a husband to the amazing Meghan Digneit and father to two amazing sons Hawkins (age 3) and Houston (age 1).  I love my dog Bruce (age 14), and I believe that you can achieve any goal you desire; you just have to be ready and willing to work for it.

Pat Digneit

Co-Owner of DIGS Street Food & Spirit

Co-Owner of Double Trouble Entertainment

Hi, I'm Patrick "PDIGS" Digneit, and I am the Co-Owner of DIGS Street Food & Spirits.  I run the front of the house operations at DIGS alongside my wife, Alyssa Digneit; who is the Executive Chef and brains behind the operation! I am also the Co-Owner of Double Trouble Entertainment with my twin brother Bill.  Double Trouble is a Marquette, MI-based entertainment and events production company serving all of the Midwest.  My wife Alyssa and I have two fur-babies! Mando is a 5-year-old Chiweenie, and Millie is a 4-year-old Dorgi.  We rescued them at the "meet your best friend" Detroit Zoo adoption event. I love being a part of the Marquette Community and live by the motto of "if you give back to your community, your community will give back to you!"

Scott Soeltner

Bail $525 $530.09

Scott Soeltner

Owner of Smarty’s Saloon

Hi, my name is Scott Soeltner, aka “Smarty,” owner of Smarty’s Saloon in Negaunee with my wife of 26 years, Darla.  We also adopted our Granddaughter, Kiara Marie, who is 8 and LOVES her kitties, Chevy and Roman. We love UPAWS for all they do to help get our community and their pets together.  I’m always glad to help!

Shag Lake Drive

Bail $1000 $525

Shag Lake Drive

Local Band

 Shag Lake Drive was formed in 2018 as an acoustic act by guitarist/vocalist Joe Boogren and lead singer Haley Thomas playing a predominantly Country Mix. By 2020 the duo was feeling the need for “more cowbell” and expanded to a full band by adding Lead Guitarist/Singer Mike Oswald, Drummer Jordan Oswald, Bass Player Chris Walamaki, and vocalist Katie Bonzer also joining at times.  Today, Shag Lake Drive has a full repertoire of Country, Classic Rock, Easy Listening, and Contemporary Music from across the charts.  Our first MONSTER GIG after forming was in support of UPAWS 2018 Cause for Paws Gala.  Already UPAWS fans based on the organization’s mission, interacting with literally hundreds of supporters, and the AWESOME leaders, Shag Lake Drive fans, and supporters for life! As proud pet owners ourselves, we are committed to and inspired by the good work UPAWS does for our Community, and especially for those furry friends.

Ivy Ridenour

Bail $500 $519

Ivy Ridenour

Owner of Jackson’s Pit Gourmet Grill & Bar and GINCC business person of the year

Hello! I’m Ivy Ridenour, and this is our sweet Sofie.  She’s a 7-year-old teddy bear and is the absolute love of my family. I’m so happy to be part of the UPAWS Celebrity Lock-Up and am excited to raise an incredible amount of money for this fabulous organization. In our community, WE are so blessed to have such a passionate foundation dedicated to providing care to orphaned animals and bringing awareness to the injustices that so many of them have endured.  With UPAWS being funded through donations alone, the continuous raising of operating funds is just as critical as the amazing volunteer efforts for its continued success.  I’m passionate about all animals having a healthy home, to be loved and cared for as we would want for ourselves.  UPAWS can be the beginning of their wonderful new life, with even a little help from all of us.

Kim and Rick Custard

Bail $520 $500

Kim & Rick Custard

Owners of TacoMo Dog Training

We are proud to help UPAWS in any way in which we're able. This opportunity sounds crazy while also amazing and fun. We know that animals are often not at fault for their surrenders, and they deserve another chance to find their fur-ever homes! Sometimes they might need to learn a couple of new skills, and other times they just need the right humans to understand their special needs. We love outreach and helping educate the community to prevent surrenders whenever possible as well. The UPAWS mission is one we highly support, and we're so honored by the opportunity to participate in this fundraiser. We hope you will help us help the animals!

Walt Lindala

Bail $500 $490

Walt Lindala

Morning Show Co-Host

Network News Director

MediaBrew Communications

I have been a longtime supporter of the work done by the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter because many of the fur-babies in our home over the years have come via the shelter.  My wife April and I have adopted several black cats from UPAWS and hope to be doing the same again soon!

I've accepted the challenge to help out UPAWS because I have interviewed many people from the organization over the years through my radio work, and they have always been compassionate, dedicated animal lovers.  They work hard to get the right furry friend to the right person to build the lifelong bond that happens when we open our hearts and homes to these animals.

UPAWS runs on donations from the public and anything I can do to help is worth it,  even getting locked up!

Jay Clancey

Bail $600 $350

Jay Clancey

Owner of Cognition Brewing Company

Over the course of my life, I have lived with at least 17 dogs. It is hard for me to imagine not having the companionship of a dog in my life. It is also difficult for me to think of any dog being mistreated or alone. UPAWS fills such an important role in making sure all pets are well cared for while transitioning to their new lives that I have always been and always will be a big supporter. I was a former Board President of the Marquette County Humane Society. After opening Cognition Brewing Company, I teamed up with UPAWS to create a “Name a Beer After Your Pet” auction item for their Annual Cause for Paws Gala.  With generous donations from UPAWS supporters, the “Name a Beer After Your Pet” fundraiser has raised over $20,000 since we started it in 2016.  It is my pleasure to be locked up for this cause, but I would appreciate rapid donations to get myself out of confinement as quickly as possible!

Kurt Corcoran

Bail $520 $335.52

Kurt Corcoran

NICE Community Schools Teacher/Coach

Hi everyone, my name is Kurt Corcoran.   I was born and raised in Ishpeming, MI.  I have a gorgeous wife, 3 beautiful kids, and two rescue dogs named Cooper (12 yrs old) and Mya (14 yrs old). All 7 of us reside in Ishpeming Township.

I was lucky to land my dream teaching job at my Alma Mater, NICE Community Schools, where I was hired as a Middle School Science Teacher.  Over the years, I’ve acquired many hats in the district.  I just began my 11th year teaching.  Days after being hired, I was asked to coach Middle School girl's basketball, where I promptly answered, “Not a chance.” Well, to make a long story short, I just began my 9th year coaching girls varsity basketball, which was preceded by 5 seasons of middle school basketball (there were a few seasons when I did both).  I’ve also picked up a position coaching boys tennis, and I’m the Districts Online Director (yes, it’s been quite the whirlwind year).  On top of all that, I’ve recently claimed the unofficial title of CEO at WestEnd Trails (find us on Facebook!)

I’m asking for your help in supporting UPAWS because they rely solely on local community support.  I tell my students that they should do two things every single day; #1. Learn something about the world that they didn’t know yesterday—#2. Lessen the suffering of others.  Help me help these animals. (Plus, I want to win this competition! So, let’s go!)

Ryan Reichel

Bail $600 $300.50

Ryan Reichel

Ishpeming Public Schools Teacher & Coach

Hello, my name is Ryan Reichel.  I live in Negaunee, MI, and teach/coach at Ishpeming Public Schools.  I am also the owner/operator of W.I.N. Lawn Care.  My wife Lindsey is the Clinical Director, 6th Floor (Medical/Surgical/Oncology) at UP Health Systems Marquette, and we have three daughters, Ayla (10, Arya (7), and Nora (5), who attend Lakeview Schools.  We also have a cute one-year-old mini-labradoodle Millie Bobby Brown.  My brother Bobby Reichel, the Principal at Bothwell Middle School, has had rescue dogs, and they are the best dogs ever! Seeing his dogs happy and loving life makes me want to help UPAWS with their journey as well.

Mark Canale

Bail $600 $175

Mark Canale

Owner of Canale Funeral Home

I’m nearly a life-long resident of Marquette except for a few schooling years spent in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 1986 I came home to purchase my own funeral business and, in 1998, felt as if it would be nice to have a pet in my life.  UPAWS to the rescue.  I adopted a cat thinking that would be best for the animal and me since I am rarely home.  Fell in love with the little critter and have since adopted two more cats from UPAWS.  Animals, including each of us, need a forever home, so I am happy that UPAWS is here to match us up with our “forever pals.”


Shana Kleinschmidt

Bail $570 $160

Shana Kleinschmidt

Owner of Poet’s Pet Parlor

Hi! I'm Shana Kleinschmidt, groomer and owner of Poet's Pet Parlor. Many of my own four-legged family, as well as our greater Poet's family, have found their forever families because of UPAWS! 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and Poets has missed being part of our favorite UPAWS fundraisers. As if social distancing isn't enough, they're now locking me up! I'm grateful for the opportunity to help UPAWS, so please help free me by paying my adoption fee! Not just to save me from my kennel, but also to help the dogs that are still searching for their forever families.

Joe Heck aka Joey Black

Bail $500 $105
Joe Heck

Cake Artist at Huron Mountain Bakery featuring "Joe's Cakes"

Joey Black


I am a local baker who many of you know as “Joe The Cake Guy,” and some of you know my alter ego “Joey Black.” I am so fortunate to be able to use both of my professions to help raise money for charities in the UP, and everyone who knows me knows that “UPAWS” is one of my pet charities (pun intended). Throughout my 18 years living in the UP, I have adopted 3 lonely heart cats from UPAWS, and they are not only my pets; they are my family. The work UPAWS does is sometimes overlooked but is one of the most important things for the silent members of our community; our pets. I have been lucky enough to benefit from UPAWS not only with my pets but by becoming dear friends with many of the people that have worked so hard for them for many years. So when I was asked to be locked up (possibly in a cage full of kittens), how could I say no? Cough up some cash and get me out of here!

Dana Ferguson

Bail $500 $25

Dana Ferguson

Recent Democratic Candidate for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District

I am a lifelong resident of Negaunee, where I live with my wife, Kristi, our children, and three dogs. I work at Bell Forest and was just recently the Democratic candidate for Michigan's 1st Congressional District. The role that UPAWS plays in connecting families looking to expand by welcoming a new member is something I wholeheartedly support. In addition to facilitating these connections, UPAWS also provides a safe and caring environment for many cats, dogs, and other animals while they wait to find their new families.

Jason Lee

Bail $500 $0

Jason Lee

Radio Results Network Host

I am a 3 year Marquette native, and I’ve been an animal lover my whole life! I am a host of the Morning Show on 94.9 The Bay and hoping to raise as much as possible for UPAWS!

Contact Us

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

Office Hours

Daily: 12pm to 4pm
by appointment

**Hours or services may differ due to COVID-19**


815 South State Highway M553
Gwinn, MI 49841
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