The Portage Animal Welfare Society is so close to achieving a goal many years in the making.

Kalie Miles has been on the PAWS board for eight years, serving in many roles such as chair and marketing director. Now, she serves as the dog coordinator. Miles adds having a bigger, better shelter has been talked about for a very long time. Assuming no delays, the group hopes to be in the new shelter next month.

"We're very excited. We're going to be able to hold some dogs in the new building, which will be very nice in emergencies," says Miles. "We'll be able to hold a lot more cats and there will be a lot more space in general for storage and everything we need to run a shelter."

Kalie Miles, in front of the new shelter

The new building is behind the old shelter located at 120 12th Street N.E. and was built last year. Over the course of 2022, work has continued. Miles notes they are working on the plumbing and the flooring is down now. She says the new building will be exactly what the group needs to help dogs and cats in the community and without the community, this project wouldn't be possible.

"It's been awesome, yeah. We've had so much support and we can't thank everyone enough for the fundraising, people who like and share all of our Facebook and Instagram posts," says Miles. "It's really awesome to see the support of the community to help us build this shelter."

PAWS has been very busy, launching a low-cost spay and neuter program for cats earlier this year. According to their social media, they have had a few dozen cats come through the program. During the pandemic, they could not hold any events and fundraising was hard to come by. In 2022, they held their first open house/adopt-a-thon and Furball Halloween social in several years.

Kalie Miles with Morgan the cat

Miles says there are plenty of opportunities for you to volunteer and help change a life. They could use more volunteers for events, cleaning, fosters and so much more. She notes, without fosters, they will not be able to accept any dogs. If you would like to get more information on how to help PAWS, click here.