$14,000 raised at The 17th Annual Strut Your Mutt UPAWS Fundraiser

Gracie Hill – Pug (11 Years-Old)

NEGAUNEE, MI (WZMQ) – Over $14,000 was raised this weekend at the 17th annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser for The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter. Dogs and owners gathered down in The Jackson Mine Park in Negaunee to support the local shelter.

Every year, dog lovers from around the area come out for the strut your mutt fundraiser. owners of all ages were there with their pets, enjoying a break from the rain and the community of dog lovers.

Tom Holmstrom is a retired NMU professor who walks his two dogs every day, and was excited to participate in his first Strut Your Mutt walk. “The dog was eager to smell every dog that went by and we had to hurry up but she had a great time, that’s what I was glad about. It’s good exercise for me, I’m 89 and a half so I have to keep going or pretty soon I won’t be able to walk.”

NMU student Maya Hill also participated to the first time this year, her and her pug Gracie enjoyed the morning sunshine on their first walk. “I thought it was so fun and she loved it too, so it was great to get outside. It was really beautiful outside today.”

For dog enthusiasts this event is the perfect time to engage with the community of like-minded people, their passion for supporting their local shelter, and their love of dogs.

The event is a fun way for owners to socialize their dogs and themselves. Maya and Gracie were excited to see all the different breeds down in the park. “I got Gracie, I think I was 8 years old in 2011 and I had wanted a pug for so long, totally obsessed. and Now I’m in college and I still have her and we’re still best friends.”

The mile and a half walk takes the owners and their dogs around the iron ore heritage trail for a good morning excursion. UPAWS executive director Bill Brutto talked about his favorite parts of doing this fundraiser each year. “So, I think it’s really really great and fun to see the owners and their pets and once again just the passion that people have, that want to give back, we have a very generous community and we’re just very grateful for all their support.”

This past year UPAWS rescued over 1,400 animals. With the help from the community, the funds raised will go to help the shelter continue to rescue animals from across the U.P.