Summer is winding down, but temperatures aren’t


by Holly Baker, GBHS Humane Education/Cruelty Prevention

Did you know that dogs don’t sweat? Because of this, they do not tolerate high temperatures as well as humans do. Dogs depend upon panting to exchange warm air for cool air. But when air temperature is close to body temperature, cooling by panting is not an efficient process.

As a concerned citizen, it’s difficult to watch a dog exposed to the sweltering heat and not take action. The good news is that there are steps you can take.


If you see an animal left inside a vehicle, check the hood to ensure that the car is not running. If the engine is off call local law enforcement immediately. Be sure you have the location address, license plate, a detailed description of the vehicle, and the location of the vehicle in the parking lot. If you are able, wait until help arrives in case the animal’s condition worsens.


If you come across a dog with no shelter or water, report it! Complaints to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s cruelty hotline remain completely confidential. A representative from GBHS will go to the location and offer assistance when needed. We receive donated doghouses periodically and provide them to dogs in need in our own community. A dog should never have to live exposed to the elements and without their basic needs met. That’s where we come in!


If you or someone you know has a doghouse that is no longer in use, bring it to our shelter at 300 Snow Dr., Homewood or call us to pick it up. Often there are advertisements for used doghouses in the newspaper or online. These donations are tax deductible based on the price you paid for the item, and you’re helping future dogs in need from suffering in extreme temperatures.


We want your pets to be safe, healthy and happy.

Supporting local charities has never been easier

Wooftrax poster

Don’t just take your dog for a walk… Take your Walk for a Dog! Go to, download the app, and support your local animal shelter every time you walk your dog.

The Walk for a Dog program is a revolutionary dog-powered fundraising tool for animal shelters. Support the Greater Birmingham Humane Society simply by walking your dog! Download the app on your phone (available for both Android and iPhones) and use it each time you grab for the leash. You can add the GBHS as the shelter you are walking for in the setup menu of the app.



Amazon Smile

You can support our shelter every time you shop online! AmazonSmile connects with your existing Amazon account, and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.





Be part of the GBHS Barking for Bucks fundraiser!

Support the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s commitment to our communities with a donation made through the Barking for Bucks campaign, a live telethon fundraising event. The annual “Barking for Bucks” telethon will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. the weekend of Aug. 2-3 at the GBHS Adoption Center, located on Snow Drive in Homewood.

Hosted live by local television talent Mickey Ferguson and Jeh-Jeh Pruitt, the telethon will feature adoptable pets, local celebrities and live interviews. This family event is a great way to learn about the many programs provided by the GBHS and to see the positive impact the organization is making on the community and animals.

In conjunction with the Barking for Bucks telethon, GBHS is hosting a family fun day Saturday, Aug. 2. Join us from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a free community festival event. The event will include food trucks, children’s activities and pet supply vendors. Local pets that have been adopted through the GBHS are invited to reunite with the facility and staff for a fun weekend.

In 2013, the telethon event raised more than $73,000 and received donations from 830 individuals. All proceeds from the telethon directly support the mission and operations of the GBHS. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available for the televised event.

Vendors and friends are invited to set up a table to promote your organization or business at no cost. Booth set up begins at 9:45 a.m. and the community festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2.

Interested in being a vendor? Email or call (205) 397-8524 to confirm your spot!

BFB Vendor Flyer

For over 130 years, Greater Birmingham Humane Society has been promoting respect for life through education and prevention of cruelty to animals and people.

Pet grief counseling group to meet July 15

Dixie’s Group will meet Tuesday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Homewood Library. Please contact Randy Hayes at (205) 542-7111.

Dixie's Group Logo

If you’ve struggled with losing a pet in the past year, we invite you to join Dixie’s Group. This is a weekly meeting program dedicated to helping people through the process of losing a beloved pet.

The group will be lead by Dr. Larry Michael, an experienced grief coach who understands the impact of loss. He served as a pastor for over thirty years, and more recently served as director of a local grief agency. In addition to helping individuals who have lost loved ones, he is a pet lover and has a desire to help those who are grieving the loss of a pet.

Dixie’s group will be a six-week program that meets on Tuesday nights from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m., at the Homewood Library. The group is open to those who have lost a pet in the past year.

To register, call Randy Hayes at 205-542-7111. There is a $25 fee for the four sessions. In order to properly serve attendees, space is limited to 15 participants at this time.

Why “Dixie’s Group?”

I received a phone call from Randy a few weeks ago. He said his sweet yellow lab, Dixie, had recently passed away. He searched the area for a grief support group, and when he couldn’t find anything in Greater Birmingham, he contacted us and volunteered to help get the ball rolling. In loving memory of the pet who inspired this program, we have named it Dixie’s Group.

Quick Facts

  • What: Dixie’s Group, a pet loss support group
  • When: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Where: Homewood Library
  • Who: Up to 20 participants and Dr. Larry Michael
  • How: Contact Randy Hayes at 205-542-7111

Vet professionals warn against leaving animals unattended in summer heat

Did you know it is illegal to leave an animal alone in a car in Hoover, Alabama? Phil Doster, director of operations at the GBHS, and our friends at the Grants Mill Animal Hospital tell reporter Joey Kennedy that leaving animals alone in a vehicle can be a deadly mistake anytime, but especially this time of year.

“The inside of a car can be 20 to 30 degrees or more hotter than the air temperature. Do the math. As our temps get closer to 100 degrees, we’re talking 10 or 15 minutes for a dog to suffer from heat stroke,” said Dr. Lindsey Petras, owner of Grants Mill Animal Hospital.

Even with the heat warnings and pet care education, it is common for people to leave pets unattended, even for brief periods of time. For those like Petras and Doster, this is cause for action. What should you do if you see a pet locked in a hot car?

“What I generally recommend is make a phone call and wait,” Doster said. As far as breaking out a window, “if it comes down to the dog dying, I’m going to do it,” Doster said. “But I don’t recommend other people do it. It’s going to be better for a law-enforcement officer to do it than you.”

The article states it’s against the law to leave an animal in an automobile alone, at any time of year, and maybe that’s an ordinance that should be adopted by other municipalities. Then, at least, there would be more justification for a forced entry into a car containing an unaccompanied canine. What do you think?

Read the full article by Joey Kennedy here.

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 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 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!

GBHSA presents 2nd Howl’oween Spooktacular


The GBHS Auxiliary is hosting a 2nd annual Howl’oween Spooktacular at Avondale Brewery on Oct. 29, from 6-10 p.m.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door and include one beer. They are available online!

There will be a costume contest for people and pets, so put on your thinking cap and try to beat some of the hilarious costumes from last year.

Todd and Greg will be playing live music, CahaBones will have a “treat bar” for the pooches, Jazzy J Designs is bringing some of the cutest collars for sale and Shindigs food truck will be sure to make your tummy very happy. A portion of beer, Jazzy J and food sales will also benefit the homeless pets at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook. We’ll see you there!

Take Your Dog to Work Day — Friday, June 22nd

Today is Take Your Dog to Work Day! First celebrated in 1999, Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® (TYDTWDay®) was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay. Employers are encouraged to open their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.

At the GBHS, most days are Take Your Dog to Work Day. Here are some of our hard workers…


Lulu may look relaxed, but she’s hard at work, helping her mom write grants for our organization. Lulu was abandoned as a result of the April 27, 2011 tornadoes in Pleasant Grove, spent many months undergoing heartworm treatment, and now lives in the lap of luxury.

Shai, owner of our Executive Director, does a little mid-day sunbathing.

Occhi is also a member of our Executive Director’s family. “Occhi” means “bug eyes” in Italian- maybe you can guess how she earned her name? Occhi was rescued from a puppy mill. Because of this, she has endured many health issues in her short life, but is lucky to get such great care from her GBHS family!

Fugazi likes to sit down and respond to his emails over a few Milkbones.

Rosie enjoys the finer things in life, such as the electric blanket (originally intended for humans to ward off office chill)

Mister Tanner taking a break from a busy workday of updating the website.

Extra perk of going to work with mom: lots of kisses for Fozzie!

Max, also known as “THE Max,” may not look busy… but trust us, he is.

Max’s sister, Knives, helps with our IT department when she’s not playing with her brother. Knives was adopted from the GBHS and can frequently be found trying to fit in with the dogs.

Do you take your pet to work with you? Comment and let us know! Don’t have a pet to take to work yet? Visit our adoptable pets page to see the pets currently available for adoption.

First Friday 40!

Introducing… 1st Friday 40! Tomorrow is the first Friday in June, and to celebrate, we’re reducing adoption fees! All canines who have been in the shelter for 40 days or more, can be adopted to loving homes for $40 on the first Friday of each month. 

Want to meet some of these cool canines? All of the dogs below have been at the GBHS for 40 days or more, and would really love to find their fur-ever homes tomorrow!


Addison is 5 year old terrier/chihuahua and she would love to meet you! Find out more about her in her profile.


Reese is a 6 year old poodle who is currently available for adoption in foster care. Read her story here.


Scrappy Doo is a 3 month old shepherd puppy. He’s a little bit bigger now, but still has that same adorable face! Learn about him on his pet profile.


Meet Cheese, a 2 year old chihuahua/beagle. Cheese is a shy guy who will love you forever if you give him treats. Read Cheese’s story here.


Roy is quite the character! He is a senior Italian Greyhound who will keep you entertained. Find out more about Roy on his profile.


Go Gidget Go! Gidget is an adorable 3 month old lab mix puppy. You know you can’t resist those eyes! See more information on gidget here.

Please spread the word and help us get these 6 canines the wonderful homes they deserve during First Friday 40 tomorrow!