When Walton County Sheriff's deputies have an animal cruelty case, animal shelters are the first place they call for help.
"You never know how many animals you are going to end up with,” said Lori Hood, Founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport. “Because sometimes you get there and there are a lot more animals then you anticipated. With the case we assisted with, we ended up taking 97 dogs and 21 horses from one location."
There are also pet owners who can no longer care for their animals.
"We have about 75 to 100 cases that call every day,” said Hood. “The reason is that number is so high is that we are a no kill organization. People that are in dire need of trying to find a place for their pets they often come to us first."
The two biggest reasons people drop off their animals, the weak economy.
"We took in six animals yesterday from a lady who lost her job and has to go back to Texas,” said Lois Marlow, of the Walton County Animal Shelter.
Plus, the lack of an effective spay and neuter program in Walton County.
"If you spay and neuter your animals, then that is bringing less into the world that we don't have to worry about placing and the less chance they have to get euthanized,” stated Marlow.
Both the Alaqua Animal Refuge and the Walton County Animal Shelter are full to capacity, and still getting calls daily to house more cats and dogs.