For the love of dogs in Walton County

July 8, 2009

     Adoptable pet portrait by Teresa Cline. Photo courtesy
Adoptable pet portrait by Teresa Cline. Photo courtesy

A dog’s life in paradise

Dog n 1. A domestic carnivorous animal that typically has a long muzzle, pointed ears, a fur coat, and a long fur-covered tail, and whose characteristic call is a bark. Latin name: Canis familiaris

Why is it that we love dogs? For many, having a dog in their life is a given, they are playful, energized with full of unconditional love.

As a source of information, the following is a collection of resources for man’s (and woman’s) best friend.

A special place to play

In 2006, a long awaited Bark Park was established by a group of ambitious volunteers. The park boasts 2 acres of play area, with one section for large dogs and another for small.

The off-leash park is located on J.D. Miller Road, in Santa Rosa Beach.
The park is a non-profit organization, and with more than 100 members, and is busy with playful K9s most any afternoon.

photo courtesy
photo courtesy

Pat Carlyle is the president of Bark Park organization, and has two standard poodles along with a newly adopted boxer mix. She hopes for continued volunteerism to keep the park up and running.

“The Bark Park relies solely on donations and memberships,” Pat said.

The Bark Park has upcoming fundraisers planned, along with hosting canine training classes. Members of the Bark Park receive discounts from local vendors such as pet sitters and groomers.

The Bark Park is located on J.D. Miller Road, just north of U.S. Hwy 98 in Santa Rosa Beach.

For more information on the Bark Park, go to: or you can email Pat Carlyle at:

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Artist with a heart

Santa Rosa Beach artist Teresa Cline has a passion for dogs and animals in general. She has two lovable black labs and a menagerie of other cats and birds in her lively home.

Teresa Cline and her two labs Tully is the male, 2 yrs and Madeleine (Maddy), female is 7 months.
Teresa Cline and her two labs Tully and Madeleine (Maddy)

Teresa also has a passion for doing the right thing, and is on a quest to enlighten the public and providing a healthy environment for animals.

Recently, Teresa, an abstract artist, painted a series of portraits of adoptable and fostered dogs, donating the profits to Alaqua Animal Refuge.

Teresa intends to continue painting animal portraits and donating a percentage of the proceeds to Alaqua. She currently has a local show, Transformations, where artwork by several artists can be purchased to benefit the refuge. For more information about Transformations, go to

For more information about Teresa’s efforts go to:

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Adoption services in the Walton area

Photo courtesy Alaqua Animal Refuge.
Photo courtesy Alaqua Animal Refuge.

Alaqua Animal Refuge is an independent, non-profit, no-kill refuge in Freeport.

Located on 10 acres, Alaqua was formed by local resident – Laurie Hood – in 2007 when she discovered that countless animals were being euthanized due to a lack of a no-kill shelter/adoption organization in the area.

In its first year and a half of operation, more than 1,500 animals were adopted from Alaqua Animal Refuge. Currently, Alaqua serves as a refuge for more than 300 animals at any given time. At this time, the refuge is filled to capacity, and many great pets are available for adoption.
Alaqua Animal Refuge – 914 Whitfield Road, Freeport – Contact (850)-880-6399

Walton County Animal Shelter is located at 365 Triple G Road in DeFuniak Springs.
The hours of public operation for the facility are:
Mon., Tues. – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wed. – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thu., Fri. – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sat. – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The telephone number at the shelter is (850)892-8758.  Animals in care at the shelter may viewed by visiting our website at, and selecting “Animal Control and Pet Services” from the Residents menu.


Dog boarding and sitting services

Emerald Coast Kennels
190 Shannon Lane, Santa Rosa Beach

Paw Paws Kennel
Santa Rosa Beach

Paws Sitting Service
80 Slalom Way, Santa Rosa Beach

Critter Care Service – Dog Sitting/Walking

Groomers/pet suppliers

Emerald Coast Kennels
190 Shannon Lane, Santa Rosa Beach

Lil Rascals Mobile Pet Groomer

Linda Lewis – DeFuniak Springs

Vets in the Walton County area:

DeFuniak Springs
Aidmore Pet Clinic
450 Baldwin Ave
Defuniak Springs, (850) 892-5435

Defuniak Springs, (850) 892-5435
Blackwood J L DVM
1640 Us Highway 90 W
Defuniak Springs, (850) 892-5874

Walton County Animal Clinic
1640 Us Highway 90 W
Defuniak Springs,
(850) 892-5874

Freeport Pet Clinic
909 State Highway 20 E
Freeport, (850) 835-1500

Best Friends
16019 U.S. Hwy 331
Freeport, (850) 835-4206

Santa Rosa Beach
Barry Veterinary Hospital
29 S Shore Dr Miramar Beach, (850) 837-7072

Kindness Pet Hospital
6744 W County Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, (850) 267-3955

Santa Rosa Animal Hospital
3906 W US Highway 98
Santa Rosa Beach, (850) 267-0340

After Hours Emergency Veterinary Services
Emergency Veterinary Clinic
212 Government Av., Niceville (850)729-3335

Pet friendly accommodations in South Walton and Destin area

Learning the laws

Dogs on the beach
It is not legal to have your dog on the beach without a beach license and dog tag, and you can only apply for a license if you are a Walton County resident. Visitors are not permitting to have dogs on the beach.

The beach dog tag costs $40.00 per year per animal. All owners are required to show proof of rabies vaccination administrated by a licensed veterinarian. You must provide proof of Walton County real property ownership. The beach dog tags allow you to walk your dog ON A LEASH, on Walton County beaches between the following hours:

Standard Time 3:00 p.m to 9:00 a.m.
Daylight Savings Time 6:00 p.m. to 8:00a.m.

To dowload an application:
If you already have a dog beach permit, you can renew by downloading this form:

Animal Control

Currently, Walton County does not have an animal control facility. The county is currently under construction on a new 8,400 sq. ft. facility on Triple G Road in DeFuniak Springs.

Currently, when animals are picked up, they are transported to the animal shelter in Chipley. The County has a contract with Animal Control of Northwest Florida, Inc., to house and care for the animals picked up. Each animal delivered to the facility in Chipley, will be housed at that location for at least 7 days, unless claimed by the owner. Any animal that has bitten a human or another animal will be quarantined for at least 10 days. To contact the facility call: (850) 638-3598

If your animal is missing or you believe Animal Control picked up the animal, call 850-892-8682. The dispatcher will take your number and an animal control officer will call you back. For more information, go to:

1 Comment
    1. I hate that Residents of Walton County have to abide by these dog limitations for the beach, Really, Walton County, why 3pm to 9am,
      When Spring Breakers can come and make messes of our beaches, NO LIMITS ON THEM. Many of us are fisherman that have dogs that behave better than most of the children I see on the beach. They are our fishing partners. And how many tourists ar eat the beach now? My family leave and go to St George Island, Apalachicola to let our dogs stay all day. Plus get away form all they annoying Tourists.
      But I guess, its better than living in Okaloosa County, NO DOGS PERIOD!

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