Big Paws was founded by a Shannon and Daniel Eldridge, dog lovers who saw a need in our Northwest Arkansas community. Their love and passion for dogs was sparked by their dog, Bubba.
Since our start in 2016, our little rescue for big dogs has continued to grow. From our founding up until 2022, we have helped rescue, rehome, and rehabilitate over 620 dogs in our area and had the pleasure of working with over 90 different foster homes. It is our joy and honor to help these dogs find their forever families. Every dog that comes through our rescue is forever a part of our pack and we are so proud to be a part of their story.
In 2022, because of continued growth and demand for our services, we moved into a brick and mortar facility in the middle of Fayetteville where we have 4 large dog runs, a grooming station, and ample space to host meet and greets for the dogs in our rescue.
Now, in 2023 we launched our Big Paws Academy and began offering high quality dog training services to our Northwest Arkansas community. We hired our new director of training, Matt Newton, and the expansion of our training packages available to the public.
We want to help create a community in which all dogs and their owners have access to dog training and the required help to ensure dog's are in loving, experienced homes. We know that well trained dogs (and well trainer owners) have more positive outcomes and strengthen our animal welfare community as a whole. Rehabilitation has always been an important part of our mission, and we are thrilled to be able to see this dream of ours come true.
Compassion. Dedication. Expertise.
We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to expand our team over the past couple of years. We went from being entirely volunteer based to now having a paid team which has drastically increased the impact of our rescue and doubled the amount of dogs we're able to save every year. Meet the pack that keeps our little rescue afloat!
Kayla started with Big Paws as a foster and quickly discovered her passion for animal rescue. With a background as a clinical social worker, Kayla brings a wealth of non-profit knowledge to our rescue as well as a passion for big floof balls. Her friends jokingly refer to her as the "social worker for dogs" and we think she truly is. From managing our intakes to our foster program and website- you'll see Kayla pop up just about anywhere at Big Paws with the goal to improve the lives of all the dogs she comes into contact with.
Director of Training
Matt has a passion for helping dogs and their owners. He brings a wealth of knowledge and passion from his 8 years of experience as a professional dog trainer. He loves helping people strengthen their relationship with their dogs and learn how to enjoy life to the fullest as a team! Matt works every day to improve the lives of dogs by running our training program, assessing dogs coming into rescue, and providing free training to folks who have adopted dogs in our local community!
Director of Marketing + Operations
Maisie combines her corporate marketing and graphic design experience and passion for dogs to positively impact the lives of dogs in our rescue! With her lifelong passion for dogs and her digital and marketing skills, Maisie is invaluable asset in our mission to bring happiness and new beginnings to the amazing dogs in our care. You'll find Maisie coordinating our adoptions, managing our social media, helping with event planning, and of course loving on all the puppies!
Rachel has always had a passion for helping dogs, especially rescues. She started volunteering at her local shelter starting at age 15 and then obtained her bachelors in animal science. With her 6 years in vet med, adding Rachel to our team has allowed us to increase the quality of medical care we give to dogs. Rachel helps us keep stock of our medical inventory, coordinates medical care, manages our spay/neuter program, and is always lends a helping hand for any dog and foster in our program.
Daniel + Shannon Eldridge
Daniel + Shannon were the vision and founders behind our rescue. They have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of big dogs in our Northwest Arkansas community.