BENTONVILLE – The town of Bentonville does not have an animal shelter, but plans are well underway for two future facilities.
Mercedes Brink, who adopted two stray cats she found at her apartment complex in Bentonville, said she was surprised two shelters were in the works, “but I’m sure the need is there.” Brink said she knew surrounding communities had shelters and Bentonville didn’t.
“And that surprised me,” she says.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Best Friends Animal Society shelter will take place Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., according to an invitation to the event.
The Kanab, Utah-based organization announced the establishment of a regional pet resource center in December 2019. The centre’s plans received unanimous approval from the Planning Commission in January.
“We look forward to starting construction of the Best Friends Pet Resource Center,” said Jackie Roach, senior director of Northwest Arkansas rescue programs for Best Friends. “I think it will be a source of pride for our region which will improve animal welfare, not only in the region, but also in the country.”
The Walton Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $ 892,500 for the architectural design and engineering of the center, according to a press release.
The center will offer complementary programs to local and regional animal service organizations and accommodation services, he read.
The plans show an approximately 12,000 square foot building at 1312 Melissa Drive. The site is just over six acres near 8th Street Gateway Park.
The company’s adoption fee is $ 40 for cats and $ 100 for dogs. More details on programming and specific fees will be announced closer to the opening of the Bentonville center, said Hannah Stember, public relations manager for Best Friends.
Philanthropic support from foundations, corporate partners and donors will finance the development of the center and at least one year of running costs. Details on the funding will be released at the launch, Stember said.
The plan is to open the pet resource center in the summer of 2022, Roach said.
The city’s pet resources and services steering committee spent over a year working on plans for a shelter and in 2019 proposed that best friends run it.
The tentative plan called for the Walton Family Foundation, Best Friends, the city, and public fundraising to pay to build an $ 8 million to $ 10 million building, although no entity committed any money.
Construction is slated to begin this summer on the city’s animal shelter, which is considered a one-stop-shop for all pet-related needs, said David Wright, director of the parks and recreation department.
Wright said he wants to submit a bid award request to city council in June and expects construction to take around nine months. The site is a triangle-shaped property at the intersection of Southwest I and Southwest 41st streets, Wright said.
The plans call for a 6,500 square foot building. The construction cost is estimated to be between $ 2.7 million and $ 3.1 million, he said. The money will come from the general city fund.
The city pays Centerton $ 7,000 per month for animal services and $ 100 for each dog taken to the Centerton shelter. Centerton City Council recently approved an 18-month contract extension.
If the Bentonville shelter is completed before the contract is concluded, the city must give Centerton 60 days notice to terminate the contract, the contract says.