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Alaqua Animal Refuge to reopen this week with limited schedule

Special to Gannett

FREEPORT — Alaqua Animal Refuge has announced it will reopen its doors to the public beginning Friday from noon to 5 p.m.

For the near future, the refuge will be open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays  from noon to 5 p.m.  

More:Alaqua Animal Refuge featured on Hallmark Channel

"Alaqua had been closed for visitation since late March due to COVID-19 precautions and county regulations. Due to damage sustained from Hurricane Sally, Alaqua’s facilities are not at full operating capacity. However, the 10-acre refuge felt it was important to open a few days a week for visitors while they continue to make plans to move into their future home as soon as possible," according to a news release from the refuge.

Laurie Hood, founder and president of the Alaqua Animal Refuge, visits with one of 15 dogs and puppies that the refuge took in earlier this year as part of an animal abuse case with the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office.

More:Alaqua announces plans to move immediately to new location

Masks are required within 6 feet of others and social distancing is encouraged.

“It’s been a long seven months. But we thought we could open a few days a week so the public could once again come visit," Alaqua founder Laurie Hood said. "Just by being in the presence of these animals can help calm our minds and heal our souls in this challenging world we are all living in. We wanted to help provide for that while we continue with our plans to move.”

More:Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport underwater after flooding from Hurricane Sally

If you are interested in making a donation for new animal enclosures and fencing to help advance the move, visit Alaqua's website https://bit.ly/alaqua-move.