Alaqua Animal Refuge Evacuates Animals from Refuge Due to Flooding Impacts from Hurricane Sally
Alaqua Animal Refuge made a swift and difficult decision to evacuate animals from the shelter due to massive rain, heavy wind, and widespread flooding from now category 2 Hurricane Sally–which is still hammering the Florida Panhandle at this time.
Alaqua’s close proximity to the Choctawhatchee Bay and the safety of the animals were key factors in the decision, as the property is situated about 200 yards from the bay and is located in a high flood and evacuation zone.
Alaqua’s foster community was called upon and within hours, the most vulnerable animals were picked up and taken to safer locations.
Upon daylight breaking this morning, Alaqua was able to assess the massive flooding situation at Alaqua. Unfortunately, the Refuge is almost completely under water, and is still receiving rain and high wind gusts. The flooding is varied with some areas 2-feet and other areas 3-feet or more. There is no access to the property from the road except by boat.
The good news is that all of the remaining animals are safe. This morning, Alaqua was able to move those mostly larger animals to higher ground away from the flooded areas. And reports that animals in foster care from yesterday’s evacuation are doing well.
Currently, there is nothing to do but wait until the water has subsided enough to go back in and begin the cleanup process. Alaqua’s expects this to be a lengthy and widespread effort, and will need help when that happens.
Hurricane Sally surprised the Refuge and delivered more rain and impact than they were anticipating, or arrangements would have been made sooner.
“We are so looking forward to the day when we will not have to deal with weather events and flooding such as this,” said Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood. “It is one of the main reasons we have been trying to move from this location for many years. And luckily, our move to our future home is near and is even more critical as its location is high and dry and evacuations such as this will no longer be necessary.”
The most urgent thing Alaqua needs right now is monetary donations to help continue to care for the animals, and begin cleanup efforts when the time presents itself. Alaqua is not able to do this important work without the community’s support and relies on assistance to continue to operate—all for the love of animals. To donate, click here: http://bit.ly/AlaquaDonate/?=30atv
About Alaqua Animal Refuge Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill animal shelter and sanctuary, located in the panhandle of Florida. As the Southeast’s premier no-kill 501(c)3 refuge and sanctuary, Alaqua believes that every abused, neglected and homeless animal deserves a second chance. Committed to providing protection, shelter and care to animals in need, this private, non-profit Refuge also offers a full-service adoption center, educational outreach, and community programs that extend far beyond their geographic location. Since its inception in 2007, Alaqua has become a recognized leader in animal rescue, welfare, cruelty prevention, and advocacy. Alaqua is currently in the midst of a relocation and expansion capital campaign to build a one-of-a-kind facility—the first in the United States—on 100 donated acres. The new facility and sanctuary will allow Alaqua to continue all of the important work that is done now, as well as be an educational and training center to empower others to help animals and recreate the model worldwide. To learn more, visit www.Alaqua.org