We are a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of the stray animals in Bella Vista and the surrounding area. But most importantly, we are a dedicated team of people who spend every day loving and caring for our animals before we match them with their perfect lifetime companion. It is our daily mission to provide food, shelter and medical care for animals in need until they’re adopted into loving homes, but it is our evergreen mission to maintain the lowest euthanasia rate possible. Today, we’re proud to report our euthanasia rate is our lowest ever at 4% - better than the national rate by 61%. Our facility operates solely on the kindhearted donations of money and time from private parties and the surrounding community, and we are grateful for the generous hearts that help us give hope and renewed life to our animals every day.
In 1985, when Benton County Animal Control Officer Nicole Miles picked up a stray mother dog “Nellie” and her four pups, she and Deputy Sheriff Phil Sciumbato recognized the need to house Bella Vista’s many abandoned animals. They started the Bella Vista Animal Shelter with just an 8x12’ shed and those rescues. By 1992, with Nicole Miles as Shelter Manager, BVAS was handling over 200 animals per year and had outgrown the 96 sq. ft. shed. Local businesses, residents and contractors came to the rescue by donating materials, labor and money in order to erect a 20x36 prefab building.
With each year, the number of animals housed at the shelter seemed to grow exponentially. By 2005, following the intake of over 30 beagles from a puppy mill bust, it became apparent more space was needed to protect the community’s animals. In 2008, the shelter added 3,472 sq. ft., giving them 5,000 sq. ft. for cats and dogs and 816 sq. ft. of professional office space. Thanks to our site improvements and caring staff, by 2010, the adoption/reclaim and rescue rate was a phenomenal 93% with a 1% return rate and a low 6% euthanasia rate. And it’s that same extraordinary standard we are committed to upholding today.