Alaqua Animal Refuge hosts grand reopening

Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 8:37 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After closing due to the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Sally, Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport is finally expanding its horizons.

The non-profit which provides shelter, safety, and second chances to abused, neglected and homeless animals officially has a second location. To celebrate the momentous moment, Alaqua kicked off a month-long grand opening event, which is taking place the entire month of March. The celebration featured several festivities every Saturday in March including a dinner, silent auction, adoption, and volunteer recruiting event.

Alaqua Animal Refuge Director of Philanthropy Stacey Salatich says the opening was long-awaited.

“We went two solid years without being able to hold a single fundraiser and when you rely on private donations to be able to run a refuge of that size that hurts a lot. So, this day has just been a long time coming for us,” said Salatich

The new facility sits on a 100-acre plot of land in Freeport. It will house several animals including cats, dogs, goats, and even pigs.

“There are so many animals living in horrific situations right now. Once we get them here, they need homes, and they need homes so that we can create space to save more lives,” Salatich said.

Johndra Culp has been volunteering for Alaqua Animal Refuge for nearly 12 years and she encourages others to join too.

“There are so many things they can do here,” said Culp. “They can do administration, they can sit with a cat, they can work with wildlife.”

Alaqua Animal Refuge was founded in 2007. Staff tells NewsChannel 7 that to continue with their mission they need volunteers. To volunteer or donate visit the nonprofit’s website.

The organization will host a silent auction on March 26.