Our girl Penny gives birth to six, foster home needed

We want to introduce the newest members of the GBHS family. Penny – who lives at the adoption center – had 6 puppies!


Penny, a black lab, gives birth to six pups

We love it when tiny paws come into the world, but our facility is not the best environment for a new mom dog and her pups because it’s crowded and noisy. These future pets need a quiet, calm environment during the next few weeks. At times like this, our need for foster parents goes from great to urgent.

So, what’s up with this foster program?

The GBHS Foster Parents provide short-term homes for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats who need need a little extra TLC before they can be adopted. Your spare bedroom or bathroom could be put to use giving puppies or kittens somewhere to grow for two to three weeks, or you could give a dog undergoing heart worm treatment somewhere soft to lay down at night for just a few short months.

By offering your time, love and attention, you prepare your foster dog or puppy for adoption into a permanent, loving home. Opening your heart and home to a pet in need is one of the most rewarding ways to make a difference. All you need is a small space and a lot of love—we supply everything else.

Foster Parents are required to attend a brief orientation session and must have all other pets in their home up to date on shots and spayed or neutered prior to having a GBHS pet placed with them.

If you are able to fill this need, please contact Stella Burton, gbhsfoster@gmail.com. For more information on Penny, her pups, or our foster program, please call (205) 942-1211.



HB 141 passes Health Committee into Rules Committee

Spay Neuter FB Cover Page

By Hailey Rogers, Events and Communications Coordinator |

House Bill 141 passed through the Senate Health Committee meeting, but there is still much work to be done!

The bill must be chosen by the Rules Committee as a special order. If that happens, it will then be put on the Senate floor for a vote. We need your help to make this happen!

Please click here to see which senators are on the Rules Committee and access their contact information. (This can also be found at the bottom of this post.)

Rep. Todd speaking to the Senate Health Committee.

Rep. Todd speaking to the Senate Health Committee.

Today marks progress that has been years in the making. Representative Patricia Todd stood at the podium to present HB 141 to the Health Committee. Senator Bussman made a motion to vote on the matter, which Coleman seconded.

Eight senators voted in favor of passing HB 141 on to the Rules Committee, while four voted against it.

In favor:

  • Greg Reed
  • Slade Blackwell
  • Linda Coleman
  • Harri Anne Smith
  • Cam Ward
  • Jabo Waggoner
  • Jerry Fielding
  • Del Marsh


  • Paul Bussman
  • Billy Beasley
  • Gerald Dial
  • Tom Whatley

“The passage of HB141 out of the Health Committee was a great victory in the fight to keep the non-profit spay and neuter clinics open. They need to remain operational to help reduce Alabama’s pet overpopulation,” said GBHS Executive Director Karen Peterlin. “The overpopulation creates both a public health and safety issue. Alabama does not need to remain one of four states that do not have spay and neuter legislation.”

Rules Committee

Jabo Waggoner (Chairperson)
16th District (Jefferson, Shelby)

Jimmy Holley (Vice-Chairperson)
31st District (Coffee, Covington, Dale, Houston)

Scott Beason
17th District (Blount, Jefferson, St. Clair)

Roger Bedford
6th District (Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Winston)

Gerald Dial
13th District(Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Lee, Randolph)

Priscilla Dunn
19th District (Jefferson)

Vivian Figures
33rd District (Mobile)

Rusty Glover
34th District (Mobile)

Tammy Irons
1st District (Colbert, Lauderdale)

Arthur Orr
3rd District (Limestone, Madison, Morgan)

Trip Pittman
32nd District (Baldwin)

Paul Sanford
7th District (Madison)

Clay Scofield
9th District (Blount, Madison, Marshall)

Paul Bussman
4th District (Cullman, Lawrence, Winston)

World Spay Day


By Hailey Rogers, Events and Communications Coordinator |

Peggy (FCDF) and Laura  (AL SNC) in the GBHS lobby registering people for $20 s/n certificates and making appointments for pets’ surgeries.

Today is World Spay Day and we are excited to partner with Friends of Cats and Dogs Foundation (FCDF) and Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic (AL SNC) to offer $20 spay/neuter certificates to those in need.

Spaying and neutering is critical to overcoming pet overpopulation in our area and worldwide. “Spay and neuter is the first step towards reducing homeless pets in our area,” said GBHS Cruelty Prevention Officer Phil Doster, “Educating the public on this important aspect of responsible pet ownership is just as important as feeding and caring for a pet.”

World Spay Day is an international effort to do just that. According to WSD’s website, more than 800 events have been held in the U.S. and abroad in February to further spay and neuter efforts.

The GBHS, FCDF and AL SNC are all partnering to offer $20 s/n certificates to the first 100 people who come to the GBHS. It all kicked off at 9 a.m. this morning, but there are still certificates left! Once we run out, they will still be here offering s/n services for the regular, reduced fee (price varies depending on pet), until 4 p.m. today.

World Spay Day in the media:

Peggy Cropp (FCDF), Laura Brinkman (AL SNC), Karen Peterlin (GBHS) and Dani Pelt (AL SNC) take a break from working to pose for a photo.

Peggy Cropp (FCDF), Laura Brinkman (AL SNC), Karen Peterlin (GBHS) and Dani Pelt (AL SNC) take a break from working to pose for a photo.

Pet Pantry helps those in need

By Phil Doster, Cruelty Prevention Specialist |

Created by a group of dedicated volunteers five years ago, the GBHS Pet Pantry is a growing part of our mission to improve the lives of Birmingham area pets, while keeping them in their homes.

The room where Pet Pantry food is stored.

The room where Pet Pantry food is stored.

Surrendering pets is a difficult and traumatic experience for pets and owners alike. So, if providing pet food and spay/neuter assistance can reduce the occurrence of financially related pet surrenders, we are certainly fulfilling the mission our innovative volunteers began.

As the cruelty prevention officer at the GBHS, the Pet Pantry complements my mission as well. I encounter dozens of “underfed” pets each month. Sometimes that is a result of negligent or uneducated pet owners, but many times families just can’t afford to properly feed their pets.

Through the Pet Pantry, those families can receive temporary help to feed their pets. It also gives me an opportunity to build a rapport while educating them on some of the finer points of pet ownership (like lounging on couches, playing in the grass and proper head scratches).

If you have a passion for improving the lives of these pets through food, education and support, please consider donating financially or with unopened bags of dog and cat food.

Call to action 2

To contact Phil about possible cruelty or neglect, e-mail pdoster@gbhs.org, or call (205) 369-0392.


Jan. 27-Feb. 10, you can easily donate to the Pet Pantry with a few simple clicks. Visit our YouGiveGoods drive, select the items you’d like to donate and check out. YouGiveGoods will then deliver the bags of food right to our door, and you never even have to leave your couch!

Rose needs a home where she can blossom

This special cat needs a home for the holidays, and so do her furry friends! Help us reach our Operation Silent Night goal by adopting a pet before Dec. 24.


Rose03Rose wasn’t a big fan of living the shelter life, so one of our great fosters has given her a temporary home while she waits for a permanent one!

Her fur is very soft and she loves to snuggle and be petted. When it comes to her personality, Rose’s foster mom said, “She often rubs her head against my cheek and will even lay on top of me in that position. From the ground she will reach up and extend her body full length to reach up on my legs for attention.” It sounds like this cat will be your snuggle buddy forever! She also loves her perch by the window where she can look out into the yard. She is curious and likes to explore, too!

Rose02Rose would be probably be best suited in a peaceful home where she can have your lap all to herself, but you can always bring your other pets to meet Rose prior to adoption to get an idea of how they’d get along in your home.

If Rose sounds like the perfect pet for you, please send us an e-mail so we can set up a meet and greet for you and sweet Rose.

Operation Silent Night kicked off with #GivingTuesday

Just in case you haven’t heard yet, we wanted to give you an in-depth look at Operation Silent Night. This project is very near and dear to our hearts, and we hope it will be to yours, too. It all started Dec. 2, with #GivingTuesday, and lasts through Dec. 25.

Imagine Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the adoption center. Can you hear the barking? Can you envision the cats peeking out from their favorite hiding spots? The cute puppies napping on their brothers and sisters?

Now imagine that the dogs are barking along while you sing Christmas carols. See the cats poking their heads out from around your sofa, then strutting over for you to pet them. Think about that snuggly puppy toddling over to you and falling asleep on your lap.

That is what Operation Silent Night is all about–ensuring that each adoptable pet has a safe, warm home to love them for at least one special night. The goal is have every pet in an adoptive or foster home by Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, making a night of silence at the GBHS.

Please consider adopting a pet this month, one that you will love and cherish for the rest of his or her years.

If you can’t commit to a lifetime of love, we’d love for you to foster a pet on December 24.
Send an e-mail to contactus@gbhs.org and be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will get into contact with you and arrange your foster experience! Don’t worry, we provide everything you’ll need, including pet food, collars, leashes and more.

Not only will you be giving a pet a wonderful night’s (or life’s) stay, you’ll also be helping our dedicated staff. The pets in our care must be looked after 365 days a year, including holidays. By adopting or fostering during Operation Silent Night, you’ll be giving a little break to our staff who clean the kennels and care for the adoptable pets.

GT Donation Form ArtThe annual GBHS Giving Tree also started Dec. 2! If you can’t help as part of Operation Silent Night, we are always accepting monetary donations to support our other programs. You can give online, at the GBHS, or at one of our Giving Tree locations around town (Brookwood Village, Full Circle Boutique and more).

You can also donate supplies throughout December through YouGiveGoods. Visit our YouGiveGoods.com page, select the items you’d like to donate, pay for them and they’ll ship them straight to us. The best part is, you never even have to leave your couch!

It’s the most wonderful(ly busy) time of year!

Wondering what we are up to for the holidays? Let us fill you in, because there is something for everyone. We’ve got adoption specials, donation opportunities and an idea that’s going to take the help of many in our community.

Black Friday

On Black Friday, you can bring in any item from our wish list and we will give you $10 off your adoption fees! You can see all our adoptable pets here. They would all really love a warm, loving home for the holidays.


Red_GT_BadgeThis is a global day of giving, with a healthy serving of social media. See, there’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now #GivingTuesday (#GT) is on December 3.

After shopping ’til you drop in the post-Thanksgiving rush, we hope you will join us on Dec. 3 to help the homeless pets of Birmingham. You can learn more about Giving Tuesday by watching their video below.

You Give Goods is partnering with #GT, and now donating supplies is easier than ever. Visit our You Give Goods page, pick out an item to donate, pay for it, they’ll send it straight to us, and you never even had to leave your couch. This is a great way to donate items even when you’re in the middle of the holiday rush! Our page will be open Dec. 3-31, 2013.

Don’t forget to tag #GivingTuesday and #TheGBHS when you participate!

GT Donation Form ArtGiving Tree

Giving Tuesday will kick off a whole season of giving for us. Our annual Giving Tree will begin Dec. 3 at the adoption center.

During December, we will have a Christmas tree in our lobby where you can help us decorate its branches with love. There will also be a tree at Colonial Brookwood Village, Dec. 7-15. Full Circle Boutique will also be participating by having a Giving Tree of their own.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Stop by one of the locations listed above.
  2. Choose your ornament. There are twelve options, and each features a GBHS alumni.
  3. Give a monetary donation for the ornament, either for yourself, as a gift for a friend or in honor of someone.
  4. Hang it on the tree to show your support for our mission.
  5. We’ll give you a card that matches your ornament. Be sure to give it to the person you’ve honored! These make a great gift, especially for the pet lover who already has everything.

We are in the process of creating an entire Giving Orchard across Greater Birmingham. As many of you know, we would not be able to do the live-saving work we do without the help of this amazing community.

As always, you can also donate to the GBHS Giving Tree online by clicking here.

IMG_3331Operation Silent Night

How amazing would it be if every pet in our care had either a forever home or a temporary foster family to take care of them on Christmas Eve?

This year, we are taking on a huge project that we’ve affectionately dubbed Operation Silent Night. We are going to need everyone’s help to spread the word and make this dream a reality.

The idea is that each pet in our center would have someone to call their own by Dec. 24, and that the kennels would be completely silent, at least for one night. This is a huge undertaking, but the thought of the whole community pulling together to achieve the task is astounding. We know that with your help, Operation Silent Night can be a success.

This project will also kick-off on Dec. 3, with #GivingTuesday and Giving Tree. E-mail us to join our efforts for Operation Silent Night. Don’t forget to include your name, address and phone number!

I can’t donate or adopt at this time, but still want to help

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 3.37.51 PMYou can! We all know how important social media and word of mouth are these days. We’re charging you with the task of sharing our message and goals to your friends and beyond.

Share a Facebook post, Retweet us, follow our Instagram, Repin pictures of our pets, and start a conversation with your friends about the importance of saving the lives of pets in our area. Don’t forget our hashtags: #TheGBHS, #AdoptLocAL, #GivingTuesday and #BhamPets.

Now, let us know how you plan to help and be entered to win a pair of tickets to the 3rd Annual Jazz Cat Ball, a $150 value!

Help fill our pets’ stockings

This holiday season, we encourage you to donate items from the GBHS wish list to help homeless pets. We receive no city, state, federal or United Way funding, which means we operate solely on the generosity of our community. We are excited with the progress we have made in this, our 130th year, and are looking forward to another 130 years of serving pets and people.

Below, you can find a list of items we’d love to see in our stockings.

  • IMG_4824Financial support
  • New/gently used collars and leashes
  • Unopened and in-date dry food (dogs & cats) for Pet Pantry
  • New toys for puppies
  • Newspaper rolls
  • Cat toys
  • PetAg (brand name) milk replacement (kittens & puppies)
  • Elizabethan collars
  • Pill Pockets (brand name)
  • Fleece blankets (fleece only please)
  • Rope & rubber toys for dogs
  • Kong® Classic or Kong® Extreme toys for dogs (used during snack time)HawkEye1
  • Nylabones for dogs
  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Soft dog & cat treats
  • Gallon size zip-lock bags
  • Pet waste bags
  • Cleaning, medical or office supplies (copy paper, dry-erase markers, etc.)
  • Alfalfa-based rabbit food
  • Wooden rabbit toys

Items NOT needed at this time:

  • Canned wet food (dogs & cats)
  • Bath & hand towels
  • Large towels
  • Baby blankets (non-fleece) 
  • Ceramic bowls 
  • Rawhide chews 
  • Sheets
  • Heavy blankets & quilts
  • Cat litter, pans & scoops
  • Training pads

Disturbing news on HB188-More action needed from the community immediately

Senate pro tem Del Marsh has still not placed HB188 on the Senate calendar. There are three legislative days left. Since the first of the week, Senator Marsh’s level of commitment to get this bill passed has wavered. He is receiving a great deal of pressure from Senator Bussman, because Bussman’s bill SB25, is in a House committee that most likely will not schedule a hearing prior to end of session. Senator Marsh has long been supportive of this issue and the only chance we have to get this bill on the Senate floor, will be for everyone-everyone– to make a call to him at home, this weekend. Make your call during reasonable hours- be polite. Tell Senator Marsh that you know he controls the Senate calendar and that HB188 must come to the Senate floor for the vote it deserves.

Tell him he will have to decide whose interests come first- the  citizens of our state or those of Senator Bussman.

The number is 256-237-1931

(Do not accept any statements that anyone other than Marsh controls the Senate calendar- HE CONTROLS THE CALENDAR)

Beginning Monday- there will be a second task on this issue , so please stay with this.

Finally, here is current status on the other bills affecting animals:

SB 25- the BAD spay neuter bill- assigned to House Boards ,Agencies and Commissions committee- not scheduled

HB27/SB393- felony cruelty bill- may be on senate floor next week

HB51- abuse and torture reporting bill- in Senate Judiciary committee next Tuesday

HB238- shelter reporting act- in Senate AG & F committee next Wednesday

HB259- protects police, search and rescue dogs and handlers- passed Senate committee, poised for Senate floor next week

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