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Animal Rescue Produces Fundraiser

May 15, 2020

As COVID-19 creates a new normal throughout the United States, a Florida animal shelter puts a new spin on fundraising to keep their doors open, operations alive, and save animals’ lives in the process.

Located in the panhandle of Florida, Alaqua Animal Refuge is a private, non-profit (501c3) animal shelter and sanctuary committed to serving the Southeast as the premier no-kill refuge providing protection, shelter, and care to animals in need; a full-service animal adoption center; and a peaceful, proactive animal welfare advocate. In fact, Alaqua has become the “go-to” organization to help animals, and grown to be a nationally, recognized leader in animal rescue, welfare, cruelty prevention, and advocacy across the country.

Alaqua not only rescues dogs and cats, but all domestic animals in need—including horses, farm animals, and birds. The animals come from mostly cruelty and neglect cases, but also from overloaded shelters in the Southeast. From purebreds to special needs, these animals have all found shelter, safety, and second chances Alaqua until they find a permanent home or sanctuary.

Alaqua operates solely on funds that are raised through private donations, fundraising, and grants. These endeavors provide crucial funding for their entire yearly operation and most of them have come to a complete halt with the country’s shutdown from the spread of the coronavirus. Two major fundraisers were canceled this past Spring which was a devastating blow to Alaqua’s bottom-line to be able to meet the needs of animals in their care and keep the Refuge functional—including its day-to-operations and provision of services and programs to continue its mission.

“As animal shelters and veterinary offices are operating on limited intake, the need for our services are even greater today than they were prior to the shutdown. It is honestly unbelievable the need we are seeing from our surrounding communities and state,” said Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood. “Cruelty and abuse cases are at an all-time high and we had to figure out a way to help. It’s just what we do.”

To supplement the loss of funds from fundraising events and to provide a bridge gap until things could get back to semi-normal state, Alaqua created “Rescue Me,” a very unique type of virtual event that includes an Online Live Webcast that will run simultaneously with an Online Auction, containing curated items donated before Alaqua’s events were canceled. The event also salutes Alaqua’s supporters, sponsors, volunteers, and friends.

The show is also filled with supporters and incredible stories of animal rescues from the Refuge with appearances by favorite Alaqua alums and friends. It is a truly not-to-miss-event, and can be viewed via a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

The Online Auction portion of the Rescue Me event begins Thursday, May 14 at 2 pm through May 17 at 6 pm. Upon registration, guests will be able preview over 70 items up for bidding, including original artwork, travel / trips, restaurant gift cards, art classes, golf, beauty packages, exquisite jewelry, wine dinners, event tickets, shopping sprees, and special bottles of wine.

“I can’t believe how fast this show came together. And I’m so thankful for all the incredible, and I mean awesome, guests that are joining us – from our local friends to national supporters that believe in what we do,” said Hood. “I’m so excited, but at a loss for words to express my gratitude. To the producers and everyone involved…I just feel blessed.”

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