FREEPORT, Fla. (WMBB) — Alaqua Animal Refuge officials celebrated their new location Thursday evening with a soft opening.

The new shelter and sanctuary in Freeport is not quite open to the public yet but supporters and donors got the chance to tour the grounds and see what’s been accomplished so far.

Alaqua started 15-years ago with 10-acres but the new site, which was donated 8-years ago, is 100 acres.

“There’s so much left to do, we’ve only touched the surface of what we want to do. We’re about a third of the way through so we have a lot more to go but we’re ready to go ahead and do a soft opening so people can start experiencing some of what we have to offer,” explained Laurie Hood, Alaqua Animal Refuge founder and president. “It’s a dream come true, I just can’t even believe that we have this opportunity. We’re just so excited to share it with everybody and the community that supported us for all these years.”

Due to COVID-19, adoptions are still done by appointment only but Hood said they hope to be completely open to the public this summer.

Most of the facility was built with donations, for Alaqua adoption or donation information click here.