Alaqua Animal Refuge, Inc.
About Alaqua Animal Refuge: Alaqua Animal Refuge – an independent, 501c3 nonprofit organization located on Florida's Emerald Coast – advocates the general welfare and humane treatment of animals by providing shelter, prevention of pet overpopulation and adoption services. Located on 10 acres in Freeport, Florida, the refuge was formed by Florida resident Laurie Hood in 2007 when she discovered that countless animals were being euthanized due to the lack of a no-kill shelter/adoption organization in the area. Since that time, Alaqua Animal Refuge has helped find homes for more than 11,000 animals, serves as a true refuge for more than 250 animals at any given time, and has become a recognized national leader in animal welfare issues.
Location: 914 Whitfield Road, Freeport, FL 32439
Hours of operation: Noon to 5 p.m., Saturday through Sunday
Phone: (850) 880-6399 Fax: (850) 880-6497
Monthly cost of running the refuge: $70,000 +
Average intake and adoption: More than 250 animals can be found at the refuge at any given time. Intake numbers are based on adoption numbers, and up to 100 animals are adopted each month. The refuge is at full capacity 100% of the time.
Types of animals rescued: Any domestic animal in need, including dogs, cats, horses, farm animals, rabbits, turtles, goats, geese and even a pigs. From purebreds to special-needs, these animals have all found safety and shelter at Alaqua until they find a permanent home.
Adopotion process and fees: Prospective adopters must complete an application and go through an approval process. Fees for dogs are $150 and puppies are $175; cats are free of charge and kittens are $125. All adoptions include age-appropriate vaccinations and health care, as well as spaying and neutering. Equine and farm animals pricing depends on the animal.
Spay and Neuter Program: One of Alaqua's most important programs, which includes S.N.A.P. (Spay Neuter Assistance Program), Spay and Stay (feral cat management), and in-house sterilization. Approximately 2,000 dogs and cats are spayed and neutered each year with this program, providing a solution to the area's animal overpopulation issue.
The Unconditional Love Project: Alaqua's program has partnered with Walton Co. Correctional and supervised inmates are training our rescue dogs to be therapy dogs. These canines are given free of charge to handlers and/or organizations where they are needed.
Alaqua Unleashed Dog Park: One of the refuge's goals is to keep pets happy and healthy in the home, and exercise, training, and socialization is key. So in 2011, a partnership with Walton County was created, and the refuge became the new operators of Alaqua Unleashed in Santa Rosa Beach on 18 acres of county owned land. The park currently offers a small and large dog off-leash area and agility/obedience training classes. Future plans include a landscaped and sheltered seating area; sections for large, small and senior/handicapped dogs; restrooms; a hiking area and a water feature. As well, long-term plans also call for the park to include a concert area and more for community events.
AARK (Alaqua Animal Refuge Kids): Through this club, children learn compassion and respect for life by caring for animals. AARK is dedicated to teaching children the value of protecting animals and giving back to their community.
Animal Cruelty Investigation and Prosecution Seminars: Annual training seminars are held for law enforcement, prosecutors, shelters, rescues, and animal welfare advocates providing education on methods and procedures to ensure safety for animals and to hold those who commit animal cruelty accountable. The classes are free to registrants and continuing education credits are available for professionals who attend.
Sponsor Pages: Created to inform and solicit donations from the community to help some of the more expensive animals that come to the refuge. Many animals that end up here have a special need - physical, emotional or medical - and require extra TLC or rehabilitation before they are ready to be adopted.
Partners – a Senior Citizen/Special Needs Pet Program: Any senior in need of a companion animal or special needs persons requesting pets for service or companionship can apply for a free pet courtesy of AAR. Seniors no longer able to keep an AAR pet are guaranteed that the pet can come back and live at the refuge at any time.
Priceless Purrs – Waived Adoption Fees for Adult Cats: In an effort to save as many precious felines as possible, the refuge permanently waived adoption fee for cats over the age of six months of age to approved homes.