Keeping pets' paws healthy and happy comes with a price. The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, UPAWS, in Marquette knows that all too well. The shelter takes in nearly 2,000 strays each year.
"Our shelter is constantly looking for supplies donations, monetary, donations of time," said UPAWS Manager Dayna Kennedy.
But there's one type of donation they're happy to have all year-round. Each month, 1,000 pounds of cat and dog food is donated by a local vet who knows just what the doctor ordered.
"It's high-quality food, and we're really fortunate, and our animals are fortunate," Kennedy said.
Dr. Tim Hunt gives away his own brand of chow, high in fat and low in carbohydrates.
"High fat drives them to feel more active and actually do more, and they get in better shape," said Dr. Hunt. UPAWS employees said keeping dogs healthy isn't the only benefit. By getting their food donated each month, the shelter saves thousands of dollars a year, money that goes toward medical bills or other shelter needs.
A healthy pet has a greater chance of being adopted or even becoming a sled dog. Dr. Hunt is making a name for himself after this year's Iditarod winner, Dallas Seavey, fed his pups strictly Dr. Tims...a recognition Dr. Hunt said speaks to the quality nutrition he provides.
"It means a lot," Dr. Hunt said. "As a vet, I'm trying to help as many animals as I can, and I can only be in so many places at once, and we do the best we can. Most of the time we win, occassionally we lose, but what that means is with nutrition, we can try to win all the time."