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 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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Mug Shots 2013 voting opens tomorrow

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The dogs’ portraits have been taken, and now it is time to vote for your favorite “mug” in Mug Shots 2013.

Go by A’Mano in Mountain Brook (2707 Culver Rd.) to donate a dollar and cast your vote! Whichever pooch wins will be hung on the GBHS wall of fame.

To see more pictures of the contestants, head over to Irene Thames Gardner Photography’s Facebook page.

Mug Shots wall of fame at the GBHS.

Mug Shots wall of fame at the GBHS.

Canine adoption special through March 10!

Today through Sunday, March 10, all dogs and puppies are only $75!

That means just $75 for a pet who is already spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccinations, AND microchipped!

Hurry in soon–special pricing ends this Sunday, March 10th.

If you’ve been thinking about adopting, now is the time to do it!

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“Maddie On Things” will put a smile on your face

If you haven’t heard of Maddie the Coonhound yet, you are missing out.

Theron Humphrey rescued her from an animal shelter in Atlanta, GA, and discovered that Maddie had an awesome talent. Now, her owner has published a book, titled Maddie On Things.

Watch the video below to hear her impressive story.

Unfortunately, Maddie on Tour is not coming to Alabama, but you can see the map here.

Your furry friend doesn’t have to know how to balance on a basketball goal to be amazing.  Every animal has its own story and we want to hear how that has become your story.

If you’ve adopted a pet from the GBHS, please consider sending us an e-mail to let us know how you are doing! Feel free to give an update in the comments section of this post. We love receiving photos and stories from you!

Photo courtesy of Theron Humphrey.

Photo courtesy of Theron Humphrey.

PetSmart partnership adoption

The GBHS is proud to announce that we have a new partnership with the Hoover PetSmart.

On Sunday, March 17, the very first on-site adoption event will take place from 11am-4pm.

Dogs of all ages from the GBHS will be available for adoption at PetSmart.

This is a very exciting opportunity for the GBHS and PetSmart, and we are looking forward to many more events like this one in the future!

Camera-ready Carlisle featured in “The Bark”

A puppy named Carlisle was lucky enough to be fostered in the home of a professional photographer.  His foster mom submitted a photo of him to The Bark, where he was featured in issue 73 of the magazine! Check it out on Chikadeez’s blog.

Carlisle has since been adopted and is with his new family.

Morals of the story:

Adopt from the GBHS and you may have a celebrity on your hands!

Foster pets from the GBHS and you can help create a wonderful story that will help send them to loving forever families, whether the animals you care for are published or not.

Photo courtesy of Chikadeez Photography.

Photo courtesy of Chikadeez Photography.