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The animals come to the Rita B. Huff Humane Society nearly everyday, big and small, young and old, all looking for a new home.

"We've been open for 18 years now here in Huntsville and growing everyday," said Marjolein Lemmon, Humane Society Manager. "We took in a little over 5,000 last year, and it'll be a little over 6,000 this year, compared to a little over 3,000 five years ago.

But growth isn't necessarily a good thing. With the growing head count comes growing costs. It takes about $160,000 each year to keep the shelter open, with most of that money coming from a handful of fund-raisers and private donations each year.

In downtown Huntsville Saturday, the group set up a booth as part of the Sam Houston Christmas Festival. They need as much exposure as they can get, because as promising as these pups look for becoming pets, the budget numbers are grim.

"There's always a need for more," said Lemmon "Our budget next year shows a $10,000 deficit, so we definitely need more. We need to get out and fundraise some more and hope that the community can help with donations."

The Rita B. Huff Humane Society will hold a silent auction and Christmas party Sunday as a part of those fund-raising efforts. A number of local businesses have donated items, and the shelter hopes to raise a few thousand dollars. The event is at the Walker Education Building in Huntsville.


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