BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia county’s only animal shelter has launched a fundraising effort to save it from closing at the end of the year.

The Register-Herald on Thursday reports the leaders of the non-profit Humane Society of Raleigh County say they need $80,000 to keep from shutting down.

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The organization says it’s struggling to pay utilities and outstanding taxes after an increase in animal medical emergencies left it with a $150,000 veterinarian bill.

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They hope to raise money at their Santa Paws event at the Plaza Mall on Dec. 7 and during the Beckley Art Center’s Giving Tuesday Open House on Dec. 3.

The Humane Society of Raleigh County has been open since 1979. It has taken in about 1,300 animals this year.

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