FREEPORT — “Animal PD,” the television show on Nat Geo WILD featuring Alaqua Animal Refuge and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, has not been picked up for a second season.
Laurie Hood, the founder of Alaqua who starred in the show alongside WCSO investigator Breezy Adkinson, said network executives had decided not to order more episodes after the first season debuted in April.
“They only gave us three episodes, and that was it,” Hood said. “They said, ‘not right now.’ They decided not to pick up any of the new shows for an amount of time.”
The show followed Hood and Adkinson as they responded to various animal incidents in Walton County, including animal hoarding incidents, animal neglect and even a rogue beaver who wound up at a high school football stadium.
Despite the cancellation, Hood said the show got rave reviews from people in the community.
“The comments we heard more than anything were people who said, ‘We had no idea you guys did that,’” she said. “I think people just think we’re a rescue group and we take in dogs and cats and horses and find them homes, which is obviously a big part of it, but they had no idea that we were so active in the hands-on rescue and the law enforcement side of it all.”
Corey Dobridnia, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said they were proud of the show and the spotlight it gave to animal welfare issues in the community.
“Just because the show was not picked up doesn’t mean that our relationship with Alaqua won’t continue to be successful and help protect animals in our county,” she said.
Hood said she has “mixed emotions” about the show ending, but is mostly looking forward to having more free time to devote to her latest project, a new home for Alaqua.
The multimillion-dollar facility will sit on 100 acres about a quarter-mile east of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center on State Road 20. Hood said she’s raised $2.2 million toward the project’s $15 million price tag so far.
“I knew the show would be good for awareness, but it was a lot of work and it took me doing that full-time for almost 18 weeks to get the three episodes,” she said. “We’re really trying to focus on getting the new property built.”