The volunteers with Portage Animal Welfare Society will look back on 2021 as one of the most important years in their history.

After years making their aging shelter work, construction finally began on the new building.

"Some of the highlights for paws this year was getting our building up. That was pretty exciting," says Board Chair, Kalie Miles. "We definitely have a long way to go with it, but we're pretty excited to finally have it going this year."

There isn't a firm timeline for when the shelter will open, but the group is very happy with the progress so far.

She says they had to cancel many of their major fundraising events but they are grateful they were hold a few of their smaller ones, such as their annual garage sale.

Overall, for the year, there were fifty cats and ten dogs adopted.

"We definitely did have a lot of challenges, especially with our dogs, and finding foster homes for them," says Miles. "We were very fortunate to have a lot of volunteers willing to work with our cats. It was just our dogs we had a lot of issues with this year."

Due to a lack of foster homes available for dogs, PAWS is currently on an intake-freeze. In 2022, they hope to find a few foster homes who are willing to help them out. If you are interested in fostering a dog, you can contact PAWS via their website here.