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Benefits With Friends: Barks + Books bring new beginnings

by Carin Schoppmeyer | June 23, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
Big Paws of the Ozarks is dedicated to rescuing big dogs (40 pounds or larger), which tend to be the hardest to get adopted and therefore longest-term residents in shelters. (Courtesy photo)

Big Paws of the Ozarks will welcome guests for Barks + Books on June 24 at the Fayetteville Public Library. The outdoor benefit for the nonprofit organization will feature live music, open bar, silent auction and food by Wright's Barbecue and Early Bird Catering. In case of inclement weather, festivities will move indoors.

Founded in 2016 by Shannon and Dan Eldridge, the nonprofit organization in Fayetteville is dedicated to rescuing big dogs (40 pounds or larger), which tend to be the hardest to get adopted and therefore longest-term residents in shelters. Leaders say: "From our founding up until 2021, we have helped rescue, rehome and rehabilitate over 400 dogs in our area and had the pleasure of working with over 70 different foster homes."

Dogs come to the group from crowded local shelters, owner surrenders and strays brought in by good Samaritans, says Kayla Mayes, executive director. Veterinary costs are the nonprofit group's largest expense, comprising some 70 percent of their budget. Before new rescues are placed in foster homes, they are examined by a veterinarian, are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped, are given temperament and behavioral assessments and receive a clean bill of health before being adopted.

In early 2022, the nonprofit organization moved into a brick-and-mortar location at the corner of Township and Gregg streets in Fayetteville with four kennels, a grooming station and "ample space to hold meet-and-greets for dogs in our rescue." Through a partnership with Offleash K9 Northwest Arkansas, Big Paws Academy offers "high quality training opportunities" for dogs in their rescue and in the community. The academy offers four 1.5 hour workshops open to the public each month on topics such as behavior modification, loose leash walking and building confidence. Sessions are $40, and Mayes says all proceeds from the academy help support the rescue.

Tickets for Barks + Books are $75 or $55 each for two or more using promo code PAWTYFOR2 at eventbrite.com/e/barks-books-tickets-327515025257.

Volunteers will be on hand with dogs available for adoption. Adventure Subaru has agreed to sponsor fees for adoptions initiated that evening.

-- CARIN SCHOPPMEYER

[email protected]

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Print Headline: Barks + Books bring new beginnings

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