Patty at Desk
Patty Petting Dog in Kennel

Walton County Animal Shelter (WCAS) in DeFuniak Springs, Florida serves as the only animal shelter in the county for approximately 75,000 human residents (2020 census). Although Alaqua Animal Refuge and other animal-focused non-profits are located in Walton County, these organizations are classified as rescues, rather than shelters, which is an important distinction.

Every year, no-kill Stray Rescue saves over 2,000 animals, and every single one of them are given the second chance they all deserve. But this year, that record has already been shattered and more lives have been saved than ever before, thanks to the leadership of one woman with a big heart. 

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We were surrounded by three Sheriff’s Deputies with three highly trained K-9s, a Lieutenant and a Public Information Officer from Walton County’s Sheriff’s Office. After the fear dissipated, we were able to get a sense of these amazing K-9 teams’ unique personalities and their roles through off-leash demonstrations. We had not expected the depth of the connection and bond between the dog and its handler.