Rufus — Shelter

Location: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Hurricane Michael landed in Florida, on 10/4/18. The damage was severe, and cities in the panhandle suffered the greatest.

After the storm, the destruction left many pets lost or abandoned. The county shelters were destroyed, so there was nowhere for the pets in need. Alaqua Animal Refuge, a No-Kill Shelter, in Freeport, Florida, was spared damage. The founder, Laurie Hood, offered to take all pets in need, providingtemporary boarding and accepting any pets that may need homes. That is when we found our hero, a senior bloodhound, named “Rufus”.

Rufus and his family lived in a mobile home. He was a gentle dog, but he’d become frail, deaf, and blind in his old age. Neighbors reported, the family evacuated without Rufus. Seven weeks later, he returned to the only place he knew as home. Hesat and cried loudly, a howl, befitting of his breed. The neighbors gave him sustenance. His condition was deplorable, he was emaciated, and his eyes oozed with pus. In desperation, they called Alaqua
He arrived on Christmas Eve. Despite all he had endured, Rufus was a loving dog. Although he was unable to see, his incredible sense of smell, assured him, that he was safe. He was treated,and before long, his health improved. On 2/3/19, Rufus went toa loving Hospice home, where he will live the remainder of his years, in comfort.

Rufus represents the tenacity, spirit, and strength of a community. His valor, fortitude, and bravery personify the effort of the heroic citizens, each helping one another.

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