Late last week, Alaqua Animal Refuge responded to a plea for help from Washington County (FL) Animal Control and took in 85 neglected animals from a single property. There were many types of animals including dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, and a horse.
When Alaqua’s team arrived at the property, they discovered that the animals were being kept in outside pens with barrels and garbage cans as shelter. There was also a homemade electric wire that had been strung everywhere to keep the animals contained.
“There were tiny kittens all over the yard so we had to be careful walking around. You could barely walk without stepping on a kitten and some of them were passing away even as we were trying to pick them up,” said Gail Hasan, Alaqua’s shelter manager. “The dogs were also a sad sight and were very frightened. One of our staff members actually had to pry part of the siding off the house in order to rescue two of them that wouldn’t come out.”
Ironically, Alaqua rescued 67 animals in another hoarding case in Washington County almost one year ago to the date. This and other similar cases are examples of backyard breeders and puppy mills, who tend to choose profit over animal welfare.
Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood stated, “Unfortunately, these types of cases are becoming more common. Sadly, puppies and kittens from these types of situations are more than often sold online or through classified ads. The honest truth is these animals are coming from cruel and inhumane environments, where their parents have endured a horrible life. When we see animals living in these grim conditions, we have to help them. We have to act. There is not another choice. We are the choice. We can heal them and give them a second chance at a loving life.”
This recent case is part of an ongoing investigation where the owner did surrender the animals over to Alaqua. After they have been medically cleared they will all be up for adoption.
Circumstances like this put an incredible strain on the Refuge and its limited resources—especially when the number of animals is so large. Alaqua’s daily work of rescue and rehabilitation takes a village of loving staff members, veterinarians, volunteers and support from the community.
Please consider making a donation to help care for these animals. Any and all donations allow Alaqua to continue to provide these much needed services and is most appreciated.