After a dog breeder in Walton County became sick and abandoned more than 70 of his dogs, a non-profit stepped in to help.

Alaqua Animal Refuge is caring for the 73 dogs, all Great Danes. Last Wednesday refuge employees were contacted by family members of a dog breeder. saying he was not in good health.

“He abandoned all these dogs and was at a point where there was no one to care for them,” Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood said.

Several volunteers stepped in. Each day they moved 20 dogs from the property and brought them to the refuge. “We knew we had to do it, and it went from excitement to panic to, ‘How are we going to pull it off?'” Hood said.

Some of the dogs had suffered previous injuries.

On Tuesday an employee took to Facebook to find the dogs forever homes. The response came quickly.

“Wo when they heard we had 73 of them it completely blew up our Facebook and our telephones and it actually shorted out our website for a short time,” Hood said.

Employees say for each one of the 73 dogs, they have a waiting list of four to five people. Right now they say they need donations to help pay for the dogs’ medical needs. To make a donation or apply to adopt one of the Great Danes, go here.

“What a great thing for people to love an animal like this and you can see why they’re just gentle giants,” Hood said.