Why HB188 is so important, and how you can help

Senator Bussman’s Bill, SB25

A pawn in the world of politics and three steps back for animal welfare in the state of Alabama

There seem to be so many questions about two low-cost spay/neuter bills competing in the Alabama State Senate, HB188 (the good spay neuter bill) and SB25 (the bad spay neuter bill).

On April 2nd HB188, introduced by Representative Patricia Todd, passed the House by an overwhelming margin. It looked like progress was being made until Freshman Senator Paul Bussman blocked the bill and offered a competing bill, SB25.

The difference in the bills?

HB188, the GOOD spay neuter bill:

  • allows rabies vaccines and parasite control- internal and external
  • clearly states that the clinics may not become full service facilities
  • does not compromise the oath that Veterinarians take by restricting medical materials they can have on hand
  • supported by the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association

SB25, the BAD spay neuter bill:

  • prevents administration of vaccines , wormers, flea treatments
  • prohibits medical materials not directly needed for s/n to be onsite- if a patient has complications, the drugs and equipment that may be needed for the critical care of the patient are prohibited
  • requires annual reporting to the legislature on number of surgeries, complications, mortality- no other veterinarians are required to make such reports
  • limits surgeries to those that are donor subsidized
  • NOT supported by the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association

How does this affect the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, the Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic and others?

The four Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinics in Alabama, which perform more than 20,000 spay neuters per year, would be forced to close their doors due to no longer being allowed to employee a full time veterinarian. The GBHS also has a full time veterinarian that provides vaccinations, micro chipping and spay/neutering for every adoptable pet that is surrendered to the GBHS.

SB25 would not allow the GBHS to have a veterinarian on staff pushing us to close our doors and directly impacting the amount of unwanted homeless pets.

What can you do t0 help:

Starting now and every day, light up the phones and emails of our local delegation and remind them that the clinics need HB188 to pass into law to keep operating. Tell them to get HB188 on the Senate floor Tuesday, April 30

Jabo Waggoner/R (Jefferson/Shelby)- jabo.waggoner@alsenate.gov

(334) 242-7892

Slade Blackwell/R (Jefferson/Shelby)- SB@sladeblackwell.com (334) 242-7851

Scott Beason/R – (334) 242-7794

Linda Coleman/D (Jefferson) – linda.coleman@alsenate.gov (334) 242-7864

Priscilla Dunn/D (Jefferson) – (334) 242-7793

Rodger Smitherman/D (Jefferson) – rodger.smitherman@alsenate.gov

(334) 242-7870

Cam Ward/R (Bibb, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby) – camjulward@aol.com

(334) 242-7873

We need your help to get HB188 through Senate!


In an unforeseen and inexplicable move by Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, the bad spay/neuter clinic bill, SB25, passed the senate today. While members were returning from lunch, Senator Marsh brought up SB25 out of order, taking many by surprise. So where do we stand?  HB188, the good bill has already passed the house and Senate committee and only needs to pass the Senate floor, before going to the governor.
WHAT YOU CAN DO-  starting now and every day, light up the phone and email to Senator Marsh- he has always supported the efforts to protect the spay neuter clinics- he voted to pass HB188 in Senate committee yesterday. Remind him that the clinics need HB 188 to pass into law to keep operating.
Your message should be– get HB188 on the Senate floor Tuesday, April 30

Hang on to your hats week at the legislature

Warm up your dialing and typing fingers!

Wednesday HB27, a bill to provide felony penalties for torture to all animals is number one on the Senate Judiciary Calendar. This bill passed the House last week in a record setting 97-0 vote. Please contact the Judiciary committee members and ask for a favorable committee report so this bill can go to the Senate floor. The members are:

HB188, the spay/neuter clinic protection bill:  I know everyone has contacted the Senate Health Committee to ask that this bill be placed on the agenda, however, it is not on the committee agenda this week. This is an issue between Senator Bussman, who does not want the vote and Senator Greg Reed, the Committee Chair, who decides the agenda. We need a full court press on this one. I know it seems repetitive, but please contact the committee every day, asking that H188 get the committee vote it deserves.  An e mail and a phone call daily will ensure that the committee knows just how important this bill is. Remind the members that HB188 has the support of the ALVMA, The Alabama Veterinary Medical Association-the largest veterinary professional association in the state.

If you have a friend or family member that you have not asked to do this,  don’t be shy. Getting past this roadblock will not be an easy lift and we will all pay the price, and the animals will pay the ultimate price if our s/n clinics become a thing of the past. The committee members are:

Tomorrow is legislative day 21 of 30. The session ends May 21.  I know you grasp that  the clock is counting down. The animals and the people who care about them need to win this.

Marilyn needs a patient, loving home to help her recovery

Marilyn has had a tough life and needs a patient, loving foster guardian or owner to care for her.

She came to the GBHS from a cruelty case in December. She had been tied to a tree for a long time and was completely emaciated.


Since being at the facility, she has shown improvements. Greg Winters of Personal Dog Training has been working with her to prepare her for a new home.

She is small and dainty for a pit bull, and is a sweet people person! Marilyn needs a patient home that’s willing to work with her and show her that the outside world isn’t a scary place. She is frightened of being outside because she was left outdoors for so long. It is hard to tell how she will react to other dogs or small children, so for now she should be in a home with older family members and no other pets. A fenced yard might be ideal so that she can roam around outside without a leash.

Winters said, “She is a good natured dog who is looking for someone who can help her to continue to build confidence by exposing her to the world and things in a new way that blocks her default mechanism to flee.” He went on to say, “She likes people, taking walks and is generally respectful of people and other dogs boundaries.”

Once adopted, Winters will donate two training sessions to help Marilyn settle in to her new home. Then, the GBHS will continue to provide training for as long as Marilyn needs it. The GBHS can make this commitment through the Skipper Fund.

For more information on Marilyn, call the GBHS at (205) 942-1211 or shoot us an e-mail.

Important legislation information – This is a crucial time!

Despite assurances from Senate leadership that HB 188 would be heard in Senate Health committee, Senator Bussman is preventing the bill from being placed on the committee agenda. We need to light up his phone and email NOW and keep doing it until the bill is on the agenda. In your email, state the following:

HB188 is supported by the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, the state’s largest veterinary professional association.

HB188 deserves a vote. Get HB188 on the Health Committee Agenda next week.

Send the e mails to Bussman and copy Senator Reed

Senator Paul Bussman P_bussman@bellsouth.net

Senator Greg Reed greg@preferredmedicalsystems.com

Please don’t delay- pass this e mail on to anyone you think will act on it.

This is where the rubber hits the road- put the pedal to the metal and don’t let up until HB188 is on the agenda

Sadie’s success

Below is the happy story of Sadie, as told by her owner, Susan. Thank you for telling her story! To submit an update of your own or to read more success stories, click here.


Hi – I just wanted to give an update on a puppy we adopted June 23, 2005. 
Sadie (as she has been named since the day we adopted her) is now 8 years old, lives in Tennessee, and has her Canine Good Citizen certification; she has been through several obedience courses, has a pet sitter, and enjoys doggie daycamp weekly. Her favorite activities are retrieving her ball and swimming
She is our child and is truly the best dog we’ll ever have. She never developed any bad habits, and was easy to potty train. We are so blessed to have found her at GBHS as we only lived in Alabama for 2 years. We can’t imagine life without her!

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Become a foster guardian to help us save lives


The Foster Program allows the GBHS to give animals another chance, even when medical issues, size, age or other issues are stacked against them. Foster guardians provide temporary housing and care for these special animals who will eventually be placed up for adoption.

How the Program Works

  • Animals are usually assigned for two-week periods, but can sometimes be longer
  • You can decline any foster for any reason
  • Once you agree to foster an animal you are responsible for arranging a pick-up time within 24-48 hours
  • GBHS will provide all necessary supplies, medications and food needed for the foster term
  • The Foster Care Coordinator will be available at all times to answer questions or assist with needs

Foster Candidates

There are a great deal of reasons that pets need foster care. They include:

  • Weight gain/young age
  • Socialization
  • Wound healing/minor injuries
  • Upper Respiratory Infection
  • Cruelty cases
  • Heartworm treatment
  • Other illnesses/injuries

If you have the capacity and would like to help the GBHS save more lives through fostering, send an e-mail to contactus@gbhs.org or call (205) 942-1211.


To read about Fifi, one of the many GBHS foster success stories, click here.

CarlisleTo read about Carlisle, a foster-turned-celebrity, click here.