Paws Park Grand Opening Update!

On Saturday, October 12th UPAWS Celebrated the Grand Opening of Paws Park! A fenced-in, year round, community dog park. It was the ultimate puppy play date for Paws Park Members! Permits were available for new memberships, free samples and treats provided by PetSmart and Mares-z-Doats, free lunch, desserts, and custom Dog Park Swag available.  It was a very special moment for the dedicated volunteers and staff who have spent years of research and dedication towards this volunteer run project. What makes Paws Park especially unique, is that UPAWS does not receive any government funding. The registration fee to utilize the park not only helps establish responsible membership and maintain the park year round but also provides additional revenue towards the care of the approximately 1,500 animals that come through UPAWS open-admission, no kill shelter each year. It also provides a special place to celebrate the bond between you and your pet, and for your dog to safely enjoy the freedom of being unleashed.

In addition to the Paws Park festivities, progress tours were also given of our fully functional pole barn, Memorial Garden, and Community Room.  The Pole Barn will allow for a temporary sanctuary in cases of large or farm animal neglect/abuse. The first fully functional pole barn for large animal rescue in the Upper Peninsula! It will allow for Sally’s Fund to aid in large animal rescue in ways we have only dreamed of.  With the help of some amazing volunteers and community support, the dream has now become a reality.  This new space will help further UPAWS mission through the help of Sally’s Fund to offer protection and offer education for preventing neglect for large and farm animals.

Our Memorial Garden is a project we’ve been working on to provide a special place to remember our beloved pets. Paying tribute to your pet with a custom engraved Memorial Stone or Brick, will help homeless animals have a second chance to find their own special bond like you shared with your pet. It will also provide a beautiful place to visit and remember our pets and loved ones. The Community Room is also making progress on creating new ways to engage with our Community. The Community Room will help empower youth through kids clubs, read to your shelter pet programs, animal body language and humane education opportunities.  We also plan to rent the space for Birthday Parties, conferences, training and so much more! 

After years of research and dreaming, at our sold-out Annual Cause for Paws Fundraiser in 2016, we reached out to the Community to support our public kick-off of our Capital Campaign for a New Shelter. The Community Support we’ve received has been phenomenal, but the work and fundraising is never complete. We were able to move to our new home in the fall of 2018 thanks to our wonderful Community of donors and dedicated volunteers. In return, we surveyed the Community on how we can better serve you at our new facility. There was a ‘need’ in the Community for each of these new community driven projects. Not only can we efficiently service animals and the public at our new facility, but we now have been able to develop new services to fulfill our mission and engage with our community in ways we’ve only dreamed of! We have so much to celebrate, and it is all because of our wonderful Community.  We are so proud of our Community, and excited to share with you each of these projects we have been working hard on. Thank you for continuing to help make our efforts possible, because of your support the PAWSibilities are endless!


If you are interested in a tour , Paws Park Membership, or learning more about how you can help support our future with a Naming Opportunity, please e-mail or visit