Jodie and Laurie Kelly know a thing or two about hurricanes. Living in the Florida panhandle in Destin, they have a tried and true routine for evacuating up to 35 horses when they see trouble coming.
Jodie and her students were packed and ready for the Region 2 Finals, but instead they evacuated to their predetermined refuge. Destin dodged a bullet this time, but not their neighbors to the east in Panama City and Mexico Beach. They've done it before and they are doing it again.
Instead of continuing to Atalanta, they returned to Destin and began the process they know too well, in helping neighboring farms and horse owners. They work with the ALAQUA Animal Refuge who know what they are doing, and can be trusted to get help to where it is needed.
A message from the ALAQUA Animal Refuge
Hurricane Michael, the strongest storm to ever hit the Florida Panhandle, left a trail of devastation for the residents and the animals who were left behind.
Alaqua is located approximately 70 miles from where the storm made landfall, and we are blessed to say that the Refuge is safe with minimal damage.
Our animals are also safe and doing well, and we appreciate all the support of many individuals that stepped up to help us.
Alaqua has now turned our efforts to helping those that were in the path of Hurricane Michael. We are in contact with individuals and shelters in the affected areas and are helping in the following ways:
We are a collection point for supplies to be dispersed to these hard-hit areas. Items most requested now are bottled water, dog and cat food, litter, linens, cleaning products (bleach, soap, topical cleaners). Dog and cat crates are also needed to get animals out and to transport them safely.
Donation Site: alaqua.org/michael/
A donation site has been established for monetary funds that will be used to rescue and house rescued animals, as well as provide emergency funding for the affected areas. You can donate here to help: alaqua.org/michael/
On The Ground Help:|
Alaqua is ready to take in animals from the storm and has secured placement for displaced horses and farm animals. Our medical team, as well as a team of local veterinarians, are also on stand-by to help injured animals and provide medical treatments as necessary.
If you know of any abandoned or injured animals, please report it to us right away by calling 850-880-6694 or emailing mailto:LHood@alaqua.org so that we can coordinate with the proper authorities. At the time of this email, we are still without electricity and phone service, but we are able to get messages and emails to this address.
Reports need to be in the following format:
2)Best number to contact you
4)Exact location of animals and quantity
5)Additional details such as if they are injured, constrained, abandoned, or running loose (describe situation as best you can)
Please do not attempt to go into the affected areas to search for animals! Again, we are here to help and can coordinate with the proper agencies and provide assistance.
Thank you for helping us!
Laurie Hood-Alaqua Animal Refuge Founder