FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — According to a press release, Big Paws of the Ozarks (BPOZ) received a $10,000 grant from the Best Friends Animal Society to fund new training and behavior programs through Big Paws Academy that will benefit many dogs in the community.

In 2022, BPOZ partnered with Off Leash K9 to begin Big Paws Academy, which offers affordable and accessible training classes to dog owners in Northwest Arkansas. All Big Paws Academy proceeds will directly support the rescue operations of BPOZ.

The grant funding from Best Friends Animal Society will make free training workshops possible for local shelter workers, dogs in shelters and dogs that have been recently adopted. The grant will serve three training programs that offer different levels of training: shelter workshops, individual sessions, and group workshops.

Shelter workshops will equip employees with the necessary skills to provide behavioral help to dogs in their care. Rescued dogs often have trauma resulting in behavioral issues that jeopardize their chances of adoption and increase the risk of being euthanized.

Behavior modification training will increase adoption chances and overall animal welfare in the community. Individual and group sessions will work with families who have recently adopted and need assistance integrating the dog into their household at affordable costs.

BPOZ hopes these workshops will increase retention rates of adoptions from local shelters and rescues. These class topics include loose leash walking, behavior management, dog socialization, and more.

For more information about Big Paws of the Ozarks and Big Paws Academy, visit https://www.bigpawsozarks.org/.