Alaqua Animal Refuge gets custody of 73 abandoned Great Danes

Published: Oct. 12, 2016 at 6:29 PM CDT
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UPDATE: They are no longer accepting adoption applications for the Great Danes.


Alaqua Animal Refuge founder, Laurie Hood, says in the history of her non-profit they've had only one Great Dane up for adoption. Now, they can multiply that number by 73.

Last Wednesday, Alaqua Animal Refuge employees were contacted by family members of a Walton County dog breeder saying he was not in good health.

"He abandoned all these dogs and was at a point where there was no one to care for them," said Hood.

After receiving word from the breeder's family, several volunteers stepped in to get the dogs out of their abandoned home. Each day they'd removed 20 dogs from the breeder's property and brought them to the refuge.

"We knew we had to do it," said Hood. "It went from excitement, to panic, to how are we going to pull it off?"

Hood says for the most part the Great Danes were healthy, some even pregnant.

"They've had previous injuries not anything severe but definitely something we need to look at," said Hood.

All of the dogs will be micro-chipped, spayed and neutered before adoption.

Tuesday, employees made an announcement on Facebook saying the dogs were in need of loving homes.

"When they heard we had 73 of them, it completely blew up our Facebook, and our telephones, and it actually shorted out our website for a short time," said Hood.

Dozens of people have already stopped by Alaqua to see the dogs which are all different shades and ages.

Kathleen Ready, a volunteer of the Refuge, stopped by to check them out herself.

"I need to go and find out to see if I can give it an everlasting home," said Ready. "My daughter, Tory Ready, out in South Carolina, is very interested in the dogs."

Employees say for each one of the 73 dogs, they have a wait-list of four to five people.

"What a great thing for people to love an animal like this," said Hood. "You can see why, they're just gentle giants."

Hood says it costs about $80,000 per month to operate Alaqua Animal Refuge without taking on a big group such as the Great Danes. Employees say they'd appreciate any financial donations to help with the dog's medical costs.

If you're looking to fill out an application you can still do so. Employees say it will take a few weeks to get in contact with the chosen adoptive families because they'll be making sure the dogs go to loving homes.