Dogs, lawyers and artists, oh my!

By Hailey Rogers, Events and Communications Coordinator |

This Thursday, March 13, we get to be a part of two cool events–both are at schools and both will feature adoptable dogs!

Rascal Day

Rascal Day is held each year at Cumberland School of Law, located on campus at Samford University. Rascal Day has been a part of Cumberland’s Law Week for many years.

Photo courtesy of Cumberland School of Law.

Photo courtesy of Cumberland School of Law.

Cumberland’s website says, “According to tradition, Rascal faithfully attended classes at the law school’s former campus in Lebanon, Tennessee, beginning in 1933. In 1937, he was awarded the rare degree of doctor of canine jurisprudence. Legend states the diploma was awarded in recognition of the hundreds of classes and mock trials at which Rascal’s attendance had been difficult to ignore.”

We were invited to celebrate the life of Rascal and this fun tradition with the students at Cumberland. We hope you’ll join us from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Samford University. We’ll have adoptable dogs with us, too!

McAdory Elementary Art Show

McAdory Elementary School art teacher Shelly Bailey contacted us this past fall. She said that her second grade students had been learning about pet care, and she wanted to do a corresponding art lesson.

She had the almost 200 students draw pictures of pets and then delivered the artwork to the GBHS to get a very special “paw-tograph” on each drawing.

Wall-E had been at the adoption center for a quite a while, but he made the perfect candidate to stamp his big paw on each child’s artwork while getting lots of love and encouragement from GBHS staff.

Here we are, many months later, and the artwork is ready to be sold with proceeds benefitting the GBHS.

Come join us and the McAdory students at their school on March 13, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at the art show. We’ll be there with our mobile adoption unit, TARA, and adoptable dogs.

You can see all our adoptable pets here.
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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!

Dixie’s Group: A support system for pet loss

Dixie’s Group will meet Tuesday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Homewood Library. Please e-mail Mary-Grace to register at mawilson@gbhs.org.*

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. While there is no charge for being a part of Dixie’s Group, donations will be accepted for Dr. Michael’s time and commitment.

To register, e-mail Mary-Grace at mawilson@gbhs.org. In order to properly serve attendees, space is limited to 20 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: E-mail Mary-Grace at mawilson@gbhs.org

Operation Silent Night: Not a creature was stirring

Operation Silent Night aimed to find an adoptive or foster home for every adoptable pet at the GBHS by Christmas Eve.

Operation Silent Night aimed to find an adoptive or foster home for every adoptable pet at the GBHS by Christmas Eve.

By Mary-Grace Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator |

There are lots of sounds around the holidays that warm your heart during these cold months, but at Greater Birmingham Humane Society, the greatest sound of all was, in fact, the lack there of.  An inspired mission that began in November came to a fruition on Christmas Eve, with each and every one of our adoptable pets finding temporary refuge in a loving home for the night – something that many of them hadn’t been able to do for months, if ever.

Potential adopters wait outside for the GBHS to open on Christmas Eve.

Potential adopters wait outside for the GBHS to open on Christmas Eve.

Over 50 volunteer foster families offered to open their hearts and homes to the GBHS cats and dogs and after an incredible day of adoptions that started with a line of families waiting at the door before we opened,  the remaining 21 available dogs and cats who hadn’t found a forever home were picked up from the center and taken home for a mini-vacation.

The stories came pouring in, as these incredible foster parents doted and loved on our sweet dogs and cats – with several ending in very happy adoptions! Our biggest thanks to the families who were willing to drive all the way here from Birmingham and beyond, interrupting their holiday, so that a pet could have some Christmas cheer. Their open hearts and open homes were inspiring — an incredible way to bring in a new year!

If you have a story you’d like to share from Operation Silent Night, please feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook Page.

Jelly Bean is right at home

Thank you to Sheree for submitting a great adoption success story about Jelly Bean, and for giving her such a loving home! She looks like a happy cat, indeed.

Do you want to be able to have a sweet story like Jelly Bean and Sheree? Come by the adoption center or view our adoptable pets online and fall in love.

Jelly Bean

I adopted my sweet and beautiful Jelly Bean in April 2013. At first Jelly Bean was clingy and followed us every where we went. She still likes to be with us but now sometimes she will stay by herself. She was very petite and skinny when we got her and now she is fat and happy. She is perfect. Although I have now bought some healthy cat food for her. Jelly Bean is very playful and she adapts wonderfully to all situations. She loves my Mother and stays in her bedroom most all day. She sleeps on my bed at night. She loves to be petted on her ears and cheeks and head and neck.

I love Jelly Bean so much. It is like she has always been a part of our family. She is beautiful with grey tabby fur on top and beautiful lighter color on her stomach.

Jelly Bean

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.

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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!

Abbott is all smiles after being adopted

Here’s another great story about a GBHS adoption! Anna and Janette came in over the weekend and adopted Abbott. If you’re thinking about following their example to add a furry family member over the holidays, you know where to find us! We’d love your help with Operation Silent Night, our big holiday project. Read more about it here. You can also tell us how you plan to help further our mission this month for chance to win 2 Jazz Cat Ball tickets, a $150 value! Enter here.

Now, without further adieu, here is Abbott’s story.

Yesterday we came in to view dogs and at the front desk in the seat was the most calm dog sitting well poised and all scruffily looking! It was Abbott!!! We adopted this little fellow, got him groomed and bought him some warm winter clothes and he was so happy on the drive to his new home! He is already so well trained from his previous owner. He is a perfect addition to our little family! Here is his before and after picture! Thank you for taking care of this little guy, the staff was wonderful!!!

Thank you!!
Anna and Janette

Thanks, Anna for sending us your story. Take a look at Abbott’s before and after pictures below!

 

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!

Harper settles in

You can just tell that Harper is happy as a little clam in her new home! The picture of her napping in the yard is especially cute. Thanks to her new mom, Sandy, for sending in her success story!

We are in love with Harper! She is such a loving and sweet girl. It’s only been two days and she only had one pee accident. She goes outside with her Chocolate Lab sister and she’s learning the ropes and lay of the land around here. She wants to jump in the lake with her sister, but of course we need to wait until her incision is completely healed.

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