There are some people who love animals so much that they will sacrifice their own living conditions to keep them. This was the case in Santa Rosa County, where a lady had been living on her own with about 35 animals, consisting of approximately 20 Border collie dogs and 15 cats. The lady had fallen gravely ill and was not able to properly clean her home. Regrettably, the sheer number of animals eventually began to take it over to the point where it was eventually uninhabitable.
That’s when Alaqua Animal Refuge stepped in to help. Reluctantly, the owner of the animals turned the animals over to Alaqua. “It is very difficult for someone in her position to relinquish her animals. They are the only family she has known, and some of them have been with her for a very long time,” said Laurie Hood, Alaqua founder.
The location for this animal rescue was well over an hour and a half away from Alaqua. Therefore, the organization reached out to its rescue partners for help in trying to get these animals the care and attention they so desperately needed.
Without hesitation, Save Underdogs, H.E.A.R.T. Animal Rescue, the Lucky Puppy, Saving With Soul, and CARE representatives all stepped up to assist. Santa Rosa County officials were also key partners in the rescue operation, as their presence on‑site made sure that the rescue went smoothly and helped Alaqua ensure that the animals were caught and brought to safety.
“This is the way it is supposed to be—so many like‑minded groups all coming together to save the lives of animals. A special thanks to Santa Rosa County for their help. Northwest Florida is lucky to have so many caring individuals in our community,” said Hood.
The animals were brought to Alaqua Animal Refuge after the rescue, where medical care was given immediately. All of the animals were adequately evaluated and given proper treatment for fleas and other ailments. After the animals have been medically cleared and are ready to go to new homes, they will be available for adoption.
Because of the high number of mosquitoes on the property, Alaqua’s medical staff anticipates that the dogs will likely be heartworm positive. Unfortunately, the cost for these dogs to be ready for new forever homes will likely be approximately $1,000 per dog.
The cats in the home appear to be very scared and possibly feral. Alaqua is in the process of searching for farms or barns that may want to take in barn cats, after they have been medically evaluated and altered. Interested parties can reach out to Alaqua at 850‑880‑6399.
Any and all donations are helpful. The daily work at Alaqua Animal Refuge, including rescues such as this, could not be done without the support of the local community and beyond.
“We urge the community to donate to the animals’ rescue and recovery, and to give also to the other groups who dropped everything to assist us to get these animals to safety. Without their help, Alaqua could have not been able to lead such a smooth rescue,” said Hood.
‑ Mary Chris Murry
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