Alaqua Animal Refuge had to swim their farm animals to safety after Sally flooding

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WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Human beings were not the only ones affected by Hurricane Sally’s flooding, animals were too.

Alaqua Animal Refuge saw more than four feet of flooding, and they had to save their animals. They said what they experienced seemed like a scene out of a movie.

“This past week has just been surreal for us,” said Alaqua Animal Refuge Founder Laurie Hood.

Hood followed evacuation protocol before Hurricane Sally, housing their dogs and cats in foster care, however, they did not expect flooding to get as bad as it did.

“I came back over to check on them,” said Hood. “And in one hour the water went from one foot to three feet to four feet and they were all swimming, so my family and I got paddleboards and kayaks and put the goats on top of them and got them out of here.”

For the animals who would not fit on paddleboards, like horses, they had to swim them out to safety.

“It was like something out of a movie,” said Hood.

Luckily, no animals are injured. In fact, they are back to living their conventional lives.

Since flood water receded, staff have been able to start cleaning up the area to bring all their animals back.

“It looks like everything is okay, but about 80% of our buildings have been damaged and so they are unusable,” said Hood.

Though, Hood thinks maybe this flooding is all a blessing in disguise. 

“We are just planning, working with our leadership team and our board, and we are just trying to see how we can possibly just go ahead and start our operations back at our new property,” said Hood.

Hood and the animals are looking forward to getting to their high and dry, 100 acres of new property located on Highway 20.

If you are interested in donating to Alaqua Animal refuge you can visit their website to learn more. Hood said since most buildings are unusable, food supplies are not their biggest concern. 

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