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!

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

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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.

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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!

 

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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