The Rita B. Huff Adoption Center was organized in 1982 by a group of interested citizens. The Society took its name from Dr. Rita B. Huff, professor and chairman of the Accounting Department at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.
Dr. Huff loved animals and used her ranch east of town as a personal animal shelter. She and others took in stray dogs, nursed them back to health, had them spayed and neutered and found homes for them. In 1982 she and Jack and Yvonne Kerr, along with Ed Sandhop, Nancy Brown, Jane Ellisor, Ruth Cady, and other concerned citizens of the city of Huntsville and Walker County, decided it was time to organize a formal humane society with a goal of opening a regular animal shelter.
Just days before the first formal meeting of the humane society was to take place, Dr. Huff suffered a serious stroke and died within a few days. In memory of her dedicated work for the benefit of the animals of Walker County, the new organization took as its name the Rita B. Huff Humane Society of Walker County. The society was incorporated and received its non-profit status shortly thereafter. The next few years were spent raising funds. By late 1985, land for the shelter had been donated by Gibbs Brothers and over $80,000 was in the bank. Early in 1986 plans for the building were drawn up and construction started.
The Rita B. Huff Animal Shelter was opened on August 1, 1986 with 18 inside kennel runs, 13 stainless steel cat cages and 2 rabies isolation kennels. Since then we have had donations of perimeter fencing, outside dog runs (18 total) and funds for 10 more stainless steel cat cages. In 2002 donations were received for an in-house spay/neuter clinic which opened in January, 2003. Currently, 20-40 animals are spayed and neutered weekly!
In 2008, the animal shelter is still operated by the Rita B. Huff Humane Society of Walker County. We spend a lot of our time on fundraising to meet operating needs and are in the process of planning for a new, larger facility to take care of the homeless animals in Walker and many surrounding counties. While much still remains to be done, we are operating successfully thanks to the dedicated work of a few and the generosity of many caring friends of the animals.
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