Humane society struggles with increased rescue numbers

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS) took in more than 1,800 animals last month — many more than they typically see come through their doors this time of year — and it’s putting additional strain on their budget.

They say they are also seeing a record number of adoptions, and they’re hoping the public will keep them in mind during this giving season.

“We usually average about eleven hundred animals in September and then it drops down to a thousand for November and December,” said Annie McCormick, the Adoption Center Clinic Manager at GBHS.

But this year, they’ve taken in an average of 850 extra animals per month for the last three months.

“There are just so many of them. So many every week,” said GBHS volunteer Alissa Lobdell.

And there are many reasons for that. McCormick said the warm fall season was a huge factor.

“We’ve had a twenty percent increase in baby animals. The animals never really stopped breeding,” said McCormick.

And all of those animals need care when they arrive at the shelter.

“It is a considerable amount of extra medication, extra vaccines, extra everything,” she said.


The extra expense doesn’t end there. McCormick says it costs about $350 to process each animal for adoption.

“We usually expect adoptions to be down this time of year, but they’ve been up as well,” she explained.

She said she’s excited to see more adoptions – they love to see their animals find a forever home – but they’re struggling to maintain the pace.

“We’re scrambling trying to make the best of it and we haven’t seen any loss of care. So everyone is still being treated as well as they were before. It’s just a little stressful for us.”

Less than a week ago, we told  you how storms destroyed a storage shed and crates at the shelter.

“It will impact our surgery numbers and impact the lives of our animals that we’re trying to save everyday,” said GBHS Chief Administration Officer Ramona Graffeo last week.

McCormick says a generous donor is building them a new shed, but they still need more crates. Specifically, they need large and extra large crates.

“We get a lot of big dogs and really big puppies. You can just bring them by and we can give you a receipt so you can receive a tax write off for that,” said McCormick.

They’re also in need of fosters for dogs and cats that need a little special attention outside of the shelter. As well as additional donations.

“We’re cutting out every extra we can and sending people home early when everything is done but we really struggle,” she said.

Donations can be made on the GBHS website here or on their Facebook Page.

You can also text DOG or CAT to 52000 to donate $10 through your cell phone carrier.

The shelter will take donated animal crates if you’d like to drop them off at the GBHS location at 300 Snow Drive.

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