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.

World Spay Day

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

#GivingTuesday

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!

A day in the life of a shelter pig

Chances are, if you’ve visited the GBHS lately, you’ve met Sunny. Sunny is a 1 year-old potbelly pig who is available for adoption- and she has definitely stolen our hearts and the hearts of our shelter visitors!

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a potbelly pig is like? Well, you’re about to find out…

8:00 a.m. – The GBHS staff and volunteers arrive, and I get taken for my first walk of the day. HOORAY! I am completely house-trained, so regular walks are a MUST to keep me on schedule. I wear a pretty pink harness and walk just like a dog, or so I’m told.

8:30 a.m. – My walk is over, and now it’s time to EAT. It’s my favorite thing. Duh, I’m a pig. Get it?

9:00 a.m. – I’m stuffed, so a nap is in order. A girl’s gotta get her beauty rest, right?

10:15 a.m. – I wake up and decide it’s time for another walk. I’ve got everybody here wrapped around my little hoof, so they love to take me!

11:30 a.m. – Snack time! I’m allowed 2 snacks per day, in addition to my daily meals. Here I am eating one of my favorite snacks, POPCORN! I keep asking for more, but it’s not working so far. Note to self: must get dogs to teach me how to beg.

12:30 p.m. – Play time on the yard! I will run around the yard off my leash for a few seconds at turbo speed- but then I like to slow down and root around with my snout. On those extra hot days, I love to get in the baby pool! That cold water feels SO good.

1:30 p.m. – Visiting with my faithful fans. It’s hard being this cute sometimes. Even though I’m a staff, volunteer, and visitor favorite, I would LOVE to find my forever home soon!

3:30 p.m. – Rooting in one of my many blankets. It’s what we pigs do best.

4:00 p.m. – CHOW TIME! Dinner is served.

4:30 p.m. – My final walk of the day- I’ll take my time on this one. Gotta stop and smell… uh… eat… the clover!

Do you like what you see? I am a loving girl with lots of personality who would love to find a home just as wonderful as I am! Please call 205-942-1211 ext. 200 if you are interested in adopting me!

Do Dah Day Dos and Don’ts

It’s that time again: Do Dah Day, one of our favorite Birmingham events, is back in its 33rd year this Saturday! The GBHS is lucky to have been named one of the beneficiaries of Do Dah Day once again in 2012. Do Dah Day is a FREE, pet-friendly music festival that takes place in Caldwell and Rhodes parks along Highland Avenue in Birmingham’s Southside area. For complete event information, band schedules, and more, please visit the Do Dah Day website.

We hope to see you out in the parks with your pet(s) this Saturday! Here are a few tips on how to have the best Do Dah Day experience possible:

-Friendly, leashed animals are welcome at Do Dah Day, but aggressive or uncontrollable animals are not. If you have any reason to believe that your pet may be aggressive or difficult to control, please do not bring them to Do Dah Day. If your animal shows any potential for hostility toward people or other animals, you will be asked to remove the animal from the park.

-Please be responsible: clean up pet waste! It’s always a good idea to have poo bags on hand 🙂

-VERY IMPORTANT: Monitor your pet for signs of overheating! It is typically HOT on Do Dah weekend each year. Pets can overheat quickly, and in extreme situations, can die from heat stroke. Watch out for the following symptoms of overheating in pets:

  • excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  • drooling
  • mild weakness
  • stupor and even collapse

Simple precautions can help prevent your pet from overheating. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek out the veterinary tent at Do Dah Day immediately. Make sure that your pet has a constant supply of cool water to drink. If you start to notice any of the symptoms above, find one of the baby pool stations in either Caldwell or Rhodes park, put your pet in a baby pool, and cover the pet’s body with cool, fresh water to slow down the overheating process.

Hope to see you out in the parks on Saturday and let’s have a fun, safe year of Do Dah Day with our pets!