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.

Call to action 2

To contact Phil about possible cruelty or neglect, e-mail pdoster@gbhs.org, or call (205) 369-0392.

___________________

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.

Red_GT_Badge

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!

IMG_3331

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!

421881_10151270393991237_1923013380_n

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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!

Registration for Critter Camp opens tomorrow!

Critter_camp_sq-enewsThe GBHS is proud to present Critter Camp 2013! Registration will be open March 1-June 1.

There are two sessions, each targeted at a different age group. See the information below to figure out the best fit for your child. Both camps accommodate 20 students and cost $150 per child.

If you have further questions, check out our FAQ page or contact Kelli Holmes at kkeith@gbhs.org or (205) 397-8539.

Camp Paws (Session I)

July 8th- 12th, 9am-4pm

This 5 day camp is designed for children 5-7 years old and will feature animal interactions, presentations, games, and crafts. Students will learn about animal care and how to be a friend to all animals in our community. Each day will feature a different subject such as animal safety, wildlife and equines.

 

Critter Careers (Session II)

July 15th- 19th,  9am-4pm

This 5 day camp is designed for children 8-10 years old and will feature presentations on different animal careers. Students will have the opportunity to meet professionals who work with animals every day as well as have daily hands on interactions with shelter animals.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 1.35.02 PM

Canines cross the Mason-Dixon to find new homes

This Valentine’s Day some very lucky pups celebrated by heading to their new home in Washington, D.C.

IMG_1065On Thursday, February 14th, the GBHS packed up 24 puppies and dogs in TARA (Transport Assist Rescue Adopt), a 16ft state of the art mobile adoption and transport RV, in order to transport them to the Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C. The trip would normally total 12 hours, but our drivers had to move at a slower pace, so it ended up being a long, 15-hour drive.

Why would we drive through the night to carry animals to another shelter? They are more likely to be adopted if they are sent north!  Here at the GBHS, we take in a great number of puppies and dogs, while northern shelters do not have a constant influx.

This is due, in part to spay and neuter laws.  These are more rigorous in northern states, which leads to less animals being born, and then to less pets surrendered to shelters.  All this means that adoptable animals are in high demand on the other side of the Mason-Dixon.

Many of the 24 canines on this journey had been surrendered to the GBHS as puppies and had begun to grow up here. They were too big to be in the puppy kennels, but were too young to be walked outside. It was hard on the puppies, but now they have a better chance of having a forever home.

Because they are in such high demand, these puppies should find homes in no time! Until then, the Washington Animal Rescue League will take great care of them!

UPDATE FEBRUARY 25, 2013

Thanks to Tony Sullivan for producing this great and informative video of the trip to D.C.!