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City goes with animal shelter plans

by Mike Jones | April 19, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
Director of Animal Services Cody Wilson hugs Manchas, a black lab and pitbull mix, who came from Bentonville, Thursday, April 15, 2021 at the Centerton Animal Shelter in Centerton. The city of Bentonville could start construction on a city animal resource center this summer. The city has a contract with Centerton to bring stray dogs to the shelter there. Check out nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

BENTONVILLE -- The city plans to start construction this summer on its animal services shelter, panned as a one-stop shop for all things pet-related, said David Wright, parks and recreation director.

Wright said he wants to have a bid award request before the City Council in June, and he expects construction to take about nine months.

"We hope to be pushing dirt in July," he said.

The site is a triangle-shaped piece of property at the intersection of Southwest I and Southwest 41st streets, Wright said.

Plans call for a 6,500-square-foot building. About 90% of the project design is completed, Wright said. Hight Jackson is the architect and C.R. Crawford Construction is the construction manager.

The City Council in October approved a $250,000 agreement with Hight Jackson for architectural services and a $35,000 agreement with C.R. Crawford for preconstruction services.

Construction cost is estimated between $2.7 million and $3.1 million, Wright said. The money will come from the city's general fund, he said.

Residents will be able to adopt a pet, register a pet, get information on responsible pet ownership and volunteer, according to the website.

Alison Worley has been hired as the animal services manager, Wright said. Worley worked in the city Planning Department before being hired about a month ago. Her salary is $60,652, according to the city.

Worley, a Bentonville native, has a degree in agricultural, food and life sciences with an emphasis on animal science from the University of Arkansas. She worked at New Hope Animal Hospital in Rogers as a veterinary assistant.

Worley is starting a city Animal Services Department. She reports to the parks and recreation director, but she is housed at the Police Department so she can have daily interaction and training with the animal control officers, Wright said.

She is overseeing design and eventually construction of the new building. She's also in the process of raising money, creating relationships with animal rescues and veterinarians, researching best practices and creating a set of standard operating procedures and rolling out new promotional and educational programming for residents that will promote responsible pet ownership, and more, Wright said.

The city pays $7,000 per month to Centerton for animal services and $100 for each dog taken to the Centerton shelter, Worley said. Centerton's City Council on Tuesday approved an 18-month extension to the contract, Mayor Bill Edwards said.

If the Bentonville shelter is completed before the conclusion of the contract, the city must give Centerton 60 days' notice to terminate the agreement, Worley said.

Cody Wilson, shelter director, said the number of dogs Bentonville brings in each month varies. Seven dogs were received in February followed by 27 dogs in March, he said.

Another animal center in Bentonville also is moving along with its plans. Best Friends Animal Society based in Kanab, Utah, announced a regional pet resource center in December 2019. Plans for the center received unanimous approval from the Planning Commission in January.

An $892,500 grant for architectural design and engineering of the center was provided by the Walton Family Foundation, according to a news release.

The center will offer complementary programs to local and regional animal service organizations and to traditional and nontraditional sheltering services, according to the release.

Plans show an approximately 12,000-square-foot building at 1312 Melissa Drive. The site is a little more than 6 acres near the 8th Street Gateway Park.

Jackie Roach, senior manager of Northwest Arkansas lifesaving programs for Best Friends Animal Society, said a groundbreaking is set for May 26.

The plan is for the pet resource center to be open in summer 2022, Roach said.

Director of Animal Services Cody Wilson pets a recent stray found in Bentonville, Thursday, April 15, 2021 at the Centerton Animal Shelter in Centerton. The city of Bentonville could start construction on a city animal resource center this summer. The city has a contract with Centerton to bring stray dogs to the shelter there. Check out nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for today's photo gallery. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
Director of Animal Services Cody Wilson pets a recent stray found in Bentonville, Thursday, April 15, 2021 at the Centerton Animal Shelter in Centerton. The city of Bentonville could start construction on a city animal resource center this summer. The city has a contract with Centerton to bring stray dogs to the shelter there. Check out nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
Paperwork for dogs who are up for adoption hang from a wall, Thursday, April 15, 2021 at the Centerton Animal Shelter in Centerton. The city of Bentonville could start construction on a city animal resource center this summer. The city has a contract with Centerton to bring stray dogs to the shelter there. Check out nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for today's photo gallery. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
Paperwork for dogs who are up for adoption hang from a wall, Thursday, April 15, 2021 at the Centerton Animal Shelter in Centerton. The city of Bentonville could start construction on a city animal resource center this summer. The city has a contract with Centerton to bring stray dogs to the shelter there. Check out nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
Director of Animal Services Cody Wilson pets Manchas, a black lab and pitbull mix, who came from Bentonville, Thursday, April 15, 2021 at the Centerton Animal Shelter in Centerton. The city of Bentonville could start construction on a city animal resource center this summer. The city has a contract with Centerton to bring stray dogs to the shelter there. Check out nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for today's photo gallery. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
Director of Animal Services Cody Wilson pets Manchas, a black lab and pitbull mix, who came from Bentonville, Thursday, April 15, 2021 at the Centerton Animal Shelter in Centerton. The city of Bentonville could start construction on a city animal resource center this summer. The city has a contract with Centerton to bring stray dogs to the shelter there. Check out nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
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Planned facility

A website for the planned animal services facility can be found at www.bentonvillearpets.com.

Source: Bentonville

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