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Earlier this week, Alaqua Animal Refuge was called to assist an animal control officer in a nearby county to help remove 13 small dogs that were living in a home with deplorable conditions.

Alaqua’s Animal Rescue Team immediately deployed to the home and what they found upon their arrival was shocking. There were rows of dog pens that had very little protection from the outside elements, and they were all filled with mud, feces, and urine.

Alaqua’s medical care manager described the scene as “jaw-dropping, sad, and straight out of a hoarding scene.” The Team identified the animals as poodle mixes aged three to eight, whose hair was so badly matted it had formed into dreadlocks and most of the dogs were not able to see because of the thick masses of hair covering their eyes.

The animals had apparently been living outside their whole lives which is not recommended for these types of dogs as their coats are not suitable for outdoor environments and their high social needs dictate that they shouldn’t be left alone. Their water bowls were filthy, and their food had mold all over all it. They were found terrified, trembling, and scared and had to be herded into crates to remove them from their enclosures.

Back at Alaqua, all the animals underwent a full medical assessment where initial exams show the majority of them are heartworm positive, flea infested, and a have multitude of other issues to overcome.

“My heart hurts to think of what would have happened to these dogs if we had not been able to help them. The temperature dropped to freezing the night of the rescue and they would have been stuck outside with nowhere to go or no one to help them,” said Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood. “The good news is we saved them and they are being given the care they need including clean beds, food, and water.”

Although these animals were found in a very sad situation which isn’t uncommon, they have found their second chance with Alaqua until they can be adopted to new, loving families. The Refuge is constantly faced with requests like these to rescue, heal, and comfort. Alaqua depends on the community’s support to continue to help animals in need like these poodle mixes. Donations for these animals, and others in Alaqua’s care, can be made here:


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 501(c)3 refuge, 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, led by Founder Laurie Hood, 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 acres. The new facility and sanctuary will allow Alaqua to continue to do the important work of animal rescue and rehabilitation, as well as be an educational and training center for animal welfare advocates as a place that will inspire, empower, and educate others to make change in our society and recreate the model worldwide. To learn more, visit

Alaqua Animal Refuge Rescues Dogs Discovered in Deplorable Conditions

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