Alaqua takes on mass rescue

FREEPORT, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A local animal refuge is undertaking one of its largest rescues and Monday, many dogs who are being saved will be moved to a new temporary home.

Back in October, Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood was made aware of a terrible situation involving dozens of Great Pyrenees dogs.

"We went in with law enforcement at the time to evaluate the situation. The lady was wheelchair bound. She was in terrible physical condition and she was living inside of a house with open windows and doors with 80 full-size great Pyrenees dogs coming in and out of the house," said Hood. "She was providing food. She was providing water, so they were allowed to stay with her. They were not forcibly removed from her at that time."

Now, after months of trying to provide any assistance she could, Hood said she can finally get the dogs the care they desperately need.

"Her last wish was for Alaqua Animal Refuge to make sure her dogs were cared for," Hood explained.

"She trusted Laurie and she let her know that when she did die she wanted Laurie to step in and to take care of her animals and make sure nothing bad happened to them and that they didn't get sent to kill shelters," said Alaqua Animal Tech Bronwinn Toombs.

Alaqua Animal Refuge has teamed up with several other rescue organizations to get these dogs a better home.

"So we are coordinating a mass rescue," said Hood.

"A lot of the dogs right now, it's 35 acres they are on so it's kind of hard to get them all to trust us to come near us and being able to capture them. So that's also going to be a tricky situation," Toombs added.

And because there were so many, a good number are considered feral.

"They've never been handled. They've never had a collar on. They've never been in a car. They've never left the property," Hood explained.

"It's sad. Some of them are healthier than others. But all of them are going to get the top notch quality care," Toombs ensured.

And that's exactly what the plan is.

"We are really really grateful for everyone who has stepped in. This is a lot for one rescue to try and take on so we are really grateful to everyone who is helping us," said Toombs.

Alaqua is funded by donations and volunteers. They say anything you can donate, whether monetary or in the form of supplies, will go to making sure these dogs, as well as all the other animals they house, get the care they deserve.