FREEPORT Fla. (WMBB) — Two local animal welfare organizations were responsible for a large-scale animal rescue taking in 77 neglected animals.

Alaqua Animal Refuge and the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society volunteers said animals were living in unhealthy conditions. Just over the past few days, staff said they have seen incredible progress. Especially from the 11 horses, they are now housing.

“Brighter eyes, coming up to you, “What do you got,” you know, generally the demeanor has changed on all of them,” said Alaqua’s medical manager Mindy Moriarty. 

Moriarty participated in the rescue on February 12.

“The quality of hay that was sitting out there for a few of them to eat was, I would call it cow quality, but that was even being a little generous, it was really bad,” she said.

Animals were standing in three feet of mud. Chicken and ducks were foraging for food in overcrowded pens. Once Alaqua heard about the conditions, they had to shuffle their current animals around to make room for the new arrivals.

“We just jostled a few things around here and made it work, so we could keep ones we didn’t know how sick some were going to be or what the condition was so we had the opportunity to keep some separate if need be,” Moriarty said.

Now it is a matter of finding fosters for the larger animals, and medically clearing those severely neglected.

“Obviously our two needy ones here will stay so we will continue to note their progress and make them healthier again,” she said.

Moriarty said caring for horses is one of their biggest expenses at the refuge, and help is always welcome.

If you know of or come across a case where animals are neglected contact the refuge so they can help.