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Alaqua Animal Refuge officials release Hurricane Sally update

Alaqua Animal Refuge workers went through waist-deep water to save the animals.
Alaqua Animal Refuge workers went through waist-deep water to save the animals.(Alaqua Animal Refuge)
Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 7:08 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Fla. (WJHG/WECP -

Looking back at Hurricane Sally, Alaqua Animal Refuge officials say “supplies were lost, but lives were saved.”

Friday, officials released a statement updating the public about the refuge’s status after Hurricane Sally.

They say they had to act fast as Sally’s projected path quickly shifted east, consequently affecting Walton County. They say by Wednesday morning, there were 1-2 feet of water over most of the refuge.

According to the press release, Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood said, “I immediately realized that the water had risen at least another foot or more and the high grounds were now submerged. I panicked and called my family and additional staff for back up, as the goats and pigs were all treading water.”

Officials say that was when Hood, her family, and staff members rescued dozens of goats, sheep, mini horses, turkeys, and pigs by paddleboards and kayaks.

They say it took hours to rescue the animals as they had to travel through waist-deep water with debris.

Thursday morning, the water began to go back down and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office helped move the remainder of the animals.

Officials say small buildings will need repairs before housing animals again.

They say donations are needed now more than ever. You can donate here.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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