97 Dogs and 6 Horses Now Calling Refuge Home

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On a normal day, the Alaqua Animal Refuge is bustling with rescued animals waiting to be nursed to health and adopted out, but after unexpectedly taking on more than 100 animals, the center is faced with a problem.

"It's doubled our animal capacity so we have now twice as many dogs from the day before." said Alaqua founder Laurie Hood. "The worst part of it as far as operating a refuge goes is that it's completely took up our quarantine and infirmary areas, which means we can't save anymore dogs at this point."

Friday morning, Nancy Payne was arrested on one felony county of animal cruelty and the refuge center was sent to rescue the animals, but even they were surprised by what they saw.

"We were thinking maybe, you know maybe 60 dogs because we'd heard there was a lot of dogs there," said Dr. Amy Williams with Alaqua, "but we really didn't expect 97."

On top of the dogs, 6 horses were also recovered, taking the total number rescued to 103.

While the dogs and horses are recovering, they may be stuck in limbo since they were seized by the Walton County Sheriff's Office and Animal Control.

"We took in the dogs for them to hold and to help and to treat so they're not up for adoption at this point," said Hood. "They do not belong to either one of those organization and it's all pending whether or not the owner will surrender them which would be the best case scenario."

For now officials with the refuge are happy to provide a needed service, but say since they're covering the expenses of vaccines and care, donations of any sort are appreciated.

If you're interested in donating, visit www.AlaquaAnimalRefuge.com.

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