Alaqua Animal Refuge Rescues Animals From Grim Environments


Even though the world has changed, animals are still being abused and are in dire need of help.

Recently, Alaqua Animal Refuge assisted in the rescue and removal of animals that were living in a horrific environment in Geneva, Alabama. The scene was described as “hell on earth” as animals were left to fend for themselves after their terminally ill owner was taken to the hospital. The animals, consisting of dogs and puppies, had been without food or water for over a week. Making matters worse, Geneva County, located in rural South Alabama, does not have an animal control agency or nearby shelter available to assist with these types of situations.

Upon arrival, Alaqua found that two dogs were already deceased, and the ones confined inside the home and in surrounding yards were in a very bad, almost indescribable, condition. “I have worked a lot of these cases, but this was probably the worst I have ever seen. From young puppies to several very old dogs, most had visible cuts, scars, skin and eye issues.

But they are being rehabilitated and will be put up for adoption when medically cleared. Alaqua was also joined by three additional rescue organizations, including the Wiregrass Animal Group, The Lucky Puppy Rescue, and two officers arranged by The Humane Society of the United States. The sheriff’s department was also called and was on the scene as the animals were removed from the home.

The dogs are all currently at Alaqua, and are being evaluated and treated for their medical conditions. The good news is that despite their previous grim living conditions, all of them have a promising chance of surviving and thriving. Aptly named after her sweet nature, one of the dogs, Miss Martha, is already flourishing at Alaqua and snuggled in her bed for the first time after being given a second chance at life and happiness, and most of all love.
Another case involved Alaqua Animal Refuge assisting the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office (Florida) by helping rescue and take in 15 dogs that were in poor condition. The following day, the numbers increased to 24 dogs, as a very pregnant dog delivered nine puppies. The animals consisted of dogs and puppies that were extremely infected with a skin disease causing severe itching and hair loss. The owner is now being charged with cruelty to animals after depriving them of basic, necessary care and treatment. Alaqua is currently providing for their care and treating their medical needs, including the provision of intensive care for nine puppies that were just delivered Sunday. When medically released, all of the animals will be up for adoption.

“Unfortunately, these cases are a common occurrence in the Southeastern U.S. as there are so many counties without resources to help people and animals in these situations,” says Alaqua founder Laurie Hood.

While Alaqua is currently closed to the public, the organization is still functioning with a skeleton staff to ensure the animals at the refuge are being cared for. “Our team has really pulled together during this crisis to continue our mission to provide shelter, safety, and second chances to animals in our care,” says Laurie.

The adoption process has moved to curbside service, complete with documents and meetings done virtually, and adopters do not have to get out of their car when they pick up their new pets. Animals that are up for adoption can be found on the Refuge’s website at

In the past few weeks, Alaqua has been faced with pleas for help from so many people that have lost their jobs and are not able to feed or provide medical care to their pets. “I know we are living in a challenging, almost surreal, time right now and we are happy to do whatever we can help to others,” said Hood. “Our funding has been shortened because the Refuge is essentially closed for visitors, volunteers, and we had to cancel two fundraisers that were essential to day-to-day operations. But our mission is to help animals in a time of need. I can’t forget that.”

Alaqua hopes to reopen to visitors and volunteers as soon as it is deemed for safe for all. Any donation during this time can help bridge the organization’s funding gap until they can get back to normal. Just $25 can buy food for a dog or cat per month. A micro-gift of $5 or $10 can also help with food or cost of a vaccine. Donations to the Refuge can be made here: