Alaqua rescues 97 dogs in neglect case

Alaqua rescue

Florida Senator Don Gaetz visited Alaqua Animal Refuge during his stop in Freeport Wednesday afternoon. Hood (pictured right) wasted no time introducing Gaetz to some of the rescued dogs and sharing her concerns about animal rights.

Jennie McKeon
Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 04:09 PM.

Last week, Laurie Hood witnessed what she calls her worst moment in six years of operating Alaqua Animal Refuge.

It began when Walton County Sheriff's Office called her on July 5 to help in what she thought would be a horse rescue and assist. Hood took in four horses that almost did not survive due to being very malnourished.

One horse that was left behind had an injured eye and the owner, Nancy Payne, was given a set number of days to seek medical attention for the horse. When WCSO returned to the property last week to check on the situation, they found that Payne had not sought medical attention for the animal and she was taken into custody and charged with one count of animal cruelty.

At this point Hood was called again to assist with more horses and a large number of dogs that were on the property. That day, Hood took in 97 dogs and five horses from Payne's property. The horses included a mare with a newborn, all of which were running free.

The dogs were running in and out of a double-wide trailer where they were housed.

Veterinarian Amy Williams, who assisted in the removal, had to don a mask to enter the trailer.

"The conditions of the dogs were horrible," she said. "They were covered in feces and urine. As we were collecting them, one was giving birth, and there were babies crawling around in feces."

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