FREEPORT — Six weeks after the folks at Alaqua Animal Refuge swung into action to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, they are still busting at the seams with goats and other homeless animals.
At least 30 baby goats have been born at Alaqua since their parents were brought into the rural shelter.
At least one of the baby goats has made a best friend in the process.
The goat bonded instantly with a starving hound dog that was recently rescued. Both animals are in a foster home together.
"The dog, who had obviously had many puppies, began cleaning the little goat as if it were her own," said Alaqua founder Laurie Hood.
Rescue operations began two days after the storm, as soon as Alaqua officials got permission from state officials to enter the Panahandle's most devastated communities. Their focus initially was retrieving animals from inoperable adoption centers.
They moved farm animals and more than 200 horses to safety, provided supplies and feed, and assisted with repairs to damaged farms.
In all, they brought more than 600 animals to the refuge during the month before transporting to other states for adoption, rotating animals out and bringing more animals in.
Each of the rescued animals was given a veterinary examination, including shots, microchips and treatment as needed.
The shelter also distributed more than 30,000 pounds of pet food.
They accepted dozens of pit bulls, a breed that is generally refused by adoption centers, Hood said.
Along the way, they had a little bit of extra assistance from celebs, including Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and his wife, Brittney, of Tribe Kelley/Tribe Kelley Surf Post.