BISSELL Pet Foundation aims to be a trusted resource for our animal welfare partners in times of emergency. Because BPF is a small organization, we can react quickly to urgent situations.
Recently, BPF responded to a call for help from Alaqua Animal Refuge (AAR) in Florida’s Panhandle to help them save the lives of 156 dogs who were victims of a hoarding case. The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office recovered the dogs from a single property where they were suffering from neglect, and literally fighting for food and water.
AAR acted quickly to ensure no lives were lost and gave the pets urgently needed medical attention; however, the intake process for over one hundred dogs required outside financial assistance. BISSELL Pet Foundation responded immediately with a $10,000 emergency grant to provide medical care.
The pets were taken to safety on AAR’s 10-acre farm in Freeport, FL. There, the Alaqua staff and volunteers created assembly lines to examine each animal, give vaccinations, and administer heartworm tests. AAR reported that the entire rescue operation took over 14 hours in the sweltering August heat.
Of the 131 adult dogs, 49 were heartworm positive and needed immediate treatment, and most of the dogs suffered from skin and eye issues. Several pets required surgical procedures, including a little paralyzed dog named Sophie, who was transported to a specialist in Tallahassee for surgery. Thanks to grant funding from BPF, Sophie is currently recovering in a loving foster home.
The owners of the dogs were arrested on charges of felony animal cruelty. Fortunately, most of the pets have been adopted and are receiving the care they deserve. BPF is happy to have played a role in this rescue operation and is incredibly proud of the hard work AAR has devoted to these deserving pets.
You can help BPF respond to emergencies to save pets when the unimaginable happens. Please consider a donation bissellpetfoundation.org/donate.