ONA, W.Va. -- A few miles up a dead-end road in the town of Ona, hundreds of homeless, sick animals have found sanctuary.
A dog that recently underwent open-heart surgery, a puppy that can walk thanks to an orthopedic operation and "Meanie" Beanie Weenie, a temperamental dachshund, all have one thing in common: They're "little victories."
"You can't just turn them away," said Sue Brown, founder of the Little Victories Animal Rescue & Adoption Center. "Some of these guys were dumped on the side of the road, and some of them just barked too much for their owner. We love them all and we do whatever we can to help them become great pets and find them homes."
The grass-roots shelter is one of the few in the state with a "no-kill" philosophy, and has only euthanized about 10 animals since it was founded a decade ago.
"The animals we've had to put down were so injured or abused that the vet couldn't help them. They were suffering," Brown said. "We work constantly to raise enough money to help every animal we can."
The shelter, which survives solely on donations and self-driven fundraisers, currently houses about 250 dogs and cats, racking up about $80,000 just in vet bills each year.
"That's hard to afford on bake sales alone," Brown said.
The shelter, which is dedicated to nursing abandoned animals and adopting them out to "forever homes," was hit hard this year, Brown said.