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

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!

We’ll have CATurdays during June

Since June is national Adopt-a-Cat Month, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society has declared every Saturday in the month to be CATurday.

To celebrate, all kittens and cats will have reduced adoption fees of $25 each. And if you want to double the kitty love, take home two feline friends for $45!

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We have a bonded pair of young adult cats, Cashew and Pickles, that would make the perfect addition to your family.

Or pick a pair of sweet kittens, like the new adoptees pictured here did at our kick-off this past Saturday.

We’ve got all shapes, sizes and ages at the GBHS — let our adoption counselors help you find the kitty of your dreams!