Alaqua Animal Refuge Cares for 24 Dogs from Calhoun County Cruelty Case

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Alaqua Animal Refuge Cares for 24 Dogs from Calhoun County Cruelty Case Continues Mission for Animals and Their Owners During Pandemic

Even though the world has changed, animals are still being abused and are in dire need of help. This past week, Alaqua Animal Refuge assisted the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office (Florida) by helping rescue and take in 15 dogs that were in poor condition. The following day, the numbers increased to 24 dogs, as a very pregnant dog delivered nine puppies.

The animals consisted of dogs and puppies that were extremely infected with a skin disease causing severe itching and hair loss. The owner is now being charged with cruelty to animals after depriving them of basic, necessary care and treatment. Alaqua is currently providing for their care and treating their medical needs, including the provision of intensive care for nine puppies that were just delivered Sunday. When medically released, all of the animals will be up for adoption.

While Alaqua is currently closed to the public, the organization is still functioning with a skeleton staff to ensure the animals at the refuge are being cared for like they deserve.

“Our team has really pulled together during this crisis to continue our mission to provide shelter, safety, and second chances to animals in our care,” said Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood. “We launched a foster campaign last month to get animals into homes and it was tremendously successful. Most of the situations have become ‘foster fails,’ so adoptions are on the rise.”

The adoption process has moved to curbside service, complete with documents and meetings done virtually, and adopters do not have to get out of their car when they pick up their new pets. Animals that are up for adoption can be found on the Refuge’s website at

While navigating their own new challenges, Alaqua is still trying to serve the community when it needs them most. In the past few weeks, Alaqua has been faced with pleas for help from so many people that have lost their jobs and are not able to feed or provide medical care to their pets.

“I know we are living in a challenging, almost surreal, time right now and we are happy to do whatever we can help to others,” said Hood. “Our funding has been shortened because the Refuge is essentially closed for visitors, volunteers, and we had to cancel two fundraisers that were essential to day-to-day operations. But our mission is to help animals in a time of need. I can’t forget that.”

Alaqua hopes to reopen to visitors and volunteers as soon as it is deemed for safe for all. Any donation during this time can help bridge the organization’s funding gap until they can get back to normal. Just $25 can buy food for a dog or cat per month. A micro-gift of $5 or $10 can also help with food or cost of a vaccine. Donations to the Refuge can be made here:

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About Alaqua Animal Refuge Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill animal shelter and sanctuary, located in the panhandle of Florida. As the Southeast’s premier no-kill 501(c)3 refuge and sanctuary, Alaqua believes that every abused, neglected and homeless animal deserves a second chance. Committed to providing protection, shelter and care to animals in need, this private, non-profit Refuge also offers a full-service adoption center, educational outreach, and community programs that extend far beyond their geographic location. Since its inception in 2007, Alaqua has become a recognized leader in animal rescue, welfare, cruelty prevention, and advocacy. Alaqua is currently in the midst of a relocation and expansion capital campaign to build a one-of-a-kind facility—the first in the United States—on 100 donated acres. The new facility and sanctuary will allow Alaqua to continue all of the important work that is done now, as well as be an educational and training center to empower others to help animals and recreate the model worldwide. To learn more, visit


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