ROSEPINE, LA (KPLC) - It's a plea for help. The Humane Society of West Louisiana could close its doors with more than 150 animals still in need of a home.
Saying Rita Bingham lives for animals would be an understatement.
"I don't want to say anything, because I'm afraid I'll cry and I'm not a crier," said Bingham.
She has a tough exterior, but a tender heart for those with fur. Rita has given so many animals a second chance and she's now asking for hers.
In all of the organization's 18 years, this is the first time they've come to the community asking for help.
"I'm going to say the issue is there's a lot of people who want to use the services, but they don't always want to donate," said supporter, Tomeka Gilbert. "I know many can't afford it, but a bag of food or a bottle of bleach can help."
Rita admits never saying no is a big reason she's in this position.
"I took too many, because I'm not able to say just take them to the pound," said Bingham. "It's just not in my makeup."
She said other issues are other organizations in town lowering her adoption rates, along with the DeRidder shelter not accepting cats.
"They all have animal control for cats," said Bingham. "We do not and I've been told that they never will be in the cat business."
Her heart also extends father than Beuregard Parish. She said she's had animals in her shelter from every parish in the entire state.
"If everyone I've helped would send me ten dollars, I could operate for a year," said Bingham.
And while this nearly 80-year-old animal lover said she was close to retirement, she knows her days rescuing animals are from over.
"This is God's way of telling me you can't quit so I'm not going to leave a sinking ship and I'm ready to stick it out," said Bingham.
Because while saying no is what makes running her shelter so difficult, it's also what she said the community appreciates so much.
"They don't have the money to continue and I hate to see a service that is good go," said Gilbert.
And it's a place to know an animal will be well cared for until it finds a forever home, which is a mission Rita is living for as long as she can.
Rita said the non-profit shelter is currently paid for by a weekly garage sale and donations.
For more information on the shelter, click here.