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Alaqua Animal Refuge Needs Your Help

August 30, 2013 by Jill Tanner

Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill facility founded in 2007 on a sprawling, 10-acre farm in Freeport, FL. Alaqua Animal Refuge believes that every abused, neglected and homeless animal deserves a second chance. The private, nonprofit animal sanctuary is committed to serving the Emerald Coast as the premier no-kill refuge, providing protection, shelter and care to animals in need. Alaqua is a full-service animal adoption center serving as a peaceful, proactive animal welfare advocate through educational outreach and community programs.

The refuge is located about 20 minutes north of the Emerald Coast's sugary white beaches off of highway 20. Alaqua is always in need of volunteers, but now more than ever. A recent animal abuse case left over 100 animals in dire need of care. Alaqua is currently holding the animals until the courts decide their fate.

There are a few different types of volunteers needed. Dog Walkers play an important role in the health and socialization of the dogs at Alaqua. Dog Walkers are needed every day at 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Cat sitting is another important part of the daily routine. Cat Sitters come from 8:30 to 10:30 every morning to clean the food and water bowls, change the litter, and socialize with the cats and kittens and show them some love. Horse Caregivers are trained to groom, bathe, and care for the horses.

Event and fundraising volunteers are always needed. Alaqua is maintained from the funds they receive from fundraising events. Being an event volunteer is not only fun, but also rewarding. The events are a great place to talk to people about Alaqua, adopt out animals, and raise money.

Administrative tour guides are the people who walk the grounds with future and potential pet owners. They talk about the animals, talk about the care and needs of each animal, and tell their story if they know it.  Administrative positions also assist in the office, answering the phones, and talking with people when they come in.

Since the goal is to get the animals adopted, most are kept on site. But, fostering animals is sometimes necessary in special needs cases. You can apply to become a foster parent.

To become a volunteer in any capacity at Alaqua Animal Refuge, go online to alaquaanimalrefuge.org and fill out the volunteer application or just stop by and speak with someone in the office. Once you are approved, you will be contacted to come to an orientation. Then, you are ready to help!

Cate Campbell, the volunteer coordinator at Alaqua, said this of her personal reward, “I enjoy making a difference. This is my heart. I love to see their eyes light up again when they remember your voice and their tail wag when you play with them.”

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Jill Tanner

Jill is a long-time SoWal local transplanted from Georgia. Jill enjoys writing movie scripts in her bit of spare time.

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