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BENTONVILLE -- Best Friends Animal Society will open a regional pet resource center in the city with the help of a $892,500 grant for architectural design and engineering of the center from the Walton Family Foundation, according to a news release.

"Communities are beginning to move away from the traditional shelter model and toward a proactive, community resource beyond the confines of shelter walls," Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, said in the release. "The Best Friends pet resource center will transform the way the public thinks about caring for lost and homeless pets and will be a source of pride for the people of Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas."

The estimated size of the space will be 20,000 square feet. The center will be near the recently announced 100-acre park on Southwest Eighth Street, according to the release.

The center will offer complementary programs to existing local and regional animal service organizations and to traditional and nontraditional sheltering services.

"The pet resource center's approach to outreach, training and education will redefine conventional practices to animal care," said Becca Hazlewood, Walton Family Foundation program officer. "By serving as a regional hub, the center has the potential to elevate care for pets in Northwest Arkansas, and also serve as a model to communities across the country."

Philanthropic support from foundations, corporate partners and donors will fund the center's development. The projected opening date is fall 2021, the release stated.

Best Friends has been in Northwest Arkansas for three years and leads the NWA PAW coalition. The group is comprised of 25 partner animal welfare agencies with a mission to use collaborative public and private partnerships to build and sustain no-kill communities, the release stated.

The coalition's goal is to save 90% or more of the dogs and cats in Northwest Arkansas, the release stated.

NW News on 12/10/2019

Print Headline: Regional pet resource senter to open in Bentonville

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