HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - You may not see them. But, they are there.
The mother cat and her kittens eating out of the dumpster.
The stray dog wandering the neighborhood, looking for the owner who dumped him on the side of the road.
"The problem here is just as bad as anywhere else," says Penny Webster.
Webster would know.
She has a lifetime of working with animals. For two decades, she's also served a lifeline for unwanted pets - rescuing them as an individual.
However, once she realized the problem around Huntsville was too large to tackle alone, she conceived the idea of Lifeline Pet Rescue.
The organization, which received its non-profit status in February 2015, is ready for a permanent home.
The rescue group was recently gifted a building on Kohler Road in South Huntsville.
Now, the board of directors and Webster are working to raise the money to renovate the building. The plan includes a cat room, individual suites for the dogs and a living room area.
Webster says the living room is important because it will help socialize the animals and give prospective owners a place to interact with the dogs and cats.
The most immediate need, though, is a fence for the half-acre background. Estimates are around $30,000 for the project and the dogs can't be moved until the fence is up.
Right now, the animals are kept at VIP Grooming, which is owned by Webster. She says she's at maximum capacity and she's desperate to get the donated building renovated.
Gesturing around the large, empty space there, she says, "it hurts me to go look at those dogs, knowing we have this and this is what they need. We are giving them shelter, food, whatever attention we can. But, it's not what they need. They need this."
Lifeline Pet Rescue is hopeful that animal lovers around the community will help meet that need.
If you'd like to contribute, checks may be made out to Lifeline Pet Rescue. They can be mailed to 121 Kohler Road, Huntsville AL 35803 or sent to ServisFirst Bank for deposit
For those who can't donate financially, there are still many opportunities to help that don't cost a dime.
Webster says the group is looking for volunteers of all ages to walk the dogs or even just sit with the animals and pet them.
"Give them a little one-on-one time. That's really what they need."
The group is also looking for foster families.
Children who would like to volunteer are welcome. However, they must be accompanied by an adult.
Lifeline Pet Rescue is currently housing approximately 20 dogs and 15 cats. Because of this, no new animals are being accepted.