On a night in March 2005, a young man, in the prime of his life, stopped his car on a busy thoroughfare in Birmingham to assist a puppy who had been injured. Sadly, the bravery of the Good Samaritan, Skipper Kirsch, cost him his life. Skipper was struck by another car while rescuing the puppy, which was later named "Russell", and was taken from his loved ones on this earth. Skipper's sincere devotion and service to his family, fellow mankind, and animals of all varieties touched so many in the wake of this unfortunate event.
To honor Skipper and the countless others like him who love, care, and act with such unselfish compassion, the "Skipper Fund" has been established at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society by his family, friends, and the owner of the dog, “Russell”, which he rescued. The fund will help the GBHS care for "special needs" dogs and cats that are surrendered to the shelter and require specialized veterinary care before adoption. The goal is to ultimately place these "special" pets in loving homes after providing them with the medical care that they so desperately need.
Please join us in remembering Skipper Kirsch by making a donation to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s Skipper Fund today.
Injured, scared, matted, and alone. That was Scooter's story when GBHS Humane Investigator, Joe Murphy, received the after hours call on July 24, 2008. Scooter was found living under a house with a severe back injury.
Investigator Murphy immediately took him to Alabama Veterinary Specialists for an exam due to his obvious discomfort and inability to use his back legs. It was then recommended that Scooter receive a more comprehensive examination by Dr. Milton at Veterinary Specialists of Birmingham. The initial prognosis was bleak.
Watch Scooter's Tale - Overcoming the Impossible
The next day Scooter was groomed by GBHS veterinarian, Dr. Turner-Block. All of his mats were removed and several pressure wounds were revealed on his lower back and rear legs.
Despite his obvious physical challenges, Scooter quickly showed the GBHS what is involved in a deep desire to live life to its fullest. After careful consideration and multiple vet exams, it was determined that surgery was not the best route for him. He soon began physical therapy for his hind legs and excelled at it.
After almost three months of physical rehabilitation, proper nutrition, lots of love, and a reason to live, Scooter is thriving. He is now using all four legs and is happy in his new home. His rear legs are still noticeably weak, with his right rear leg obviously the weakest. Nevertheless, Scooter loves playing with other dogs, running around, and spending time with his "people".
By supporting the GBHS Skipper Fund, you can help pets like Scooter have a second chance at life. The Skipper Fund helps pets that require specialized medical attention exceeding the routine medical costs allowed by our limited budget.
On September 8, 2008, Julius’ life changed forever. He, along with a few other puppies and dogs, had been victims of senseless neglect. When Julius and his comrades were surrendered to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society Cruelty Department they were malnourished and sickly.
Julius was only seven months old when the GBHS came to his rescue. Yet, in his short life, Julius had already suffered much at the hands of mankind. He was underfed, had a skin condition, and bore the scar of an embedded collar. When he was found by the GBHS Cruelty Department, he was living on a rope tethered to a concrete block with less than minimal human contact. In fact, his alleged owner had abandoned him with a relative, who in turn refused to provide him with adequate food, water, or shelter.
Watch Julius' Tale - Freed From Suffering
Despite Julius’ physical condition, GBHS Humane Investigator, Joe Murphy, took a special interest in him and made Julius his special project. The first order of business in this rescue of love was to provide Julius with a medicated bath and a healthy diet. In the days to follow, he also received Promeris, Sidectin, and antibiotics to treat his mange and other skin wounds. It only took Julius a short time to begin showing drastic improvements. He quickly put on weight, quit itching, and began growing hair where there were once scabs. Throughout all of this, he was eager to show his gratitude to Joe and his other friends at the GBHS. Julius’ desire to thrive and enjoy life to the fullest was soon evident.
After only a month in foster care with his hero, Julius is now ready to find his forever family. Julius is almost house trained, loves to run and romp with other dogs, and loves people. In spite of his neglect, he quickly overcame his fear of being harmed by human hands. In addition to all of his other charming traits, Julius is also very intelligent and eager to please his person. With a regular routine, adequate exercise, a healthy diet, and lots of love, Julius is sure to make an incredible family companion.
By supporting the GBHS Skipper Fund, you will help the GBHS to rescue and rehabilitate more deserving pets like Julius. These abused, neglected, and injured pets are counting on you to help give them a chance to overcome a life of suffering.
Emaciated, Lifeless, and Sick. When the GBHS Cruelty Department and Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office responded to a cruelty complaint, they found three horses living in horrendous conditions. Although two of them, Star and Eternity, needed to gain weight, the third, Hurricane, was obviously sick and nearing death’s door. Hurricane was so weak that she could hardly stand and was covered with a fungal infection.
The three horses were soon surrendered to the care of the GBHS Rescue Barn. Once in our care, the horses were given full health exams and provided with ample food and water. Hurricane was diagnosed with internal parasite infestation and rain rot. Rain rot is a contagious fungal infection that causes a series of crusty scabs and/or matted, raised tufts of hair that, when pulled off, will most often expose infected skin. In Hurricane’s case, she was so emaciated that her skin tore over the protruding bones causing open sores.
Watch Hurricane's Tale - A Survivor of Severe Neglect
Hurricane Before ______________________________
Hurricane’s road to recovery was not to be an easy one. She was immediately placed on de-wormers to kill the internal parasites that were consuming all of her nutrients. Once they were eradicated, she began gaining weight. Although the internal parasites were life threatening, their treatment was much easier than that for the rain rot infection. Over the next month, Hurricane received medicated baths every other day followed by emu oil treatments. While she tolerated the rain rot treatments, she did not enjoy them.
After only three months in the care of the GBHS Rescue Barn, Hurricane is showing signs of drastic improvement. She has gained over 150 pounds, most of her hair has grown back, and she can now stand without pain or muscle weakness. Despite her dramatic improvements, Hurricane still needs more time in our care while she continues healing.
Hurricane, like others who come to us in dire straits, was able to receive extensive medical care only because of generous gifts from caring individuals like you. By donating to the Skipper Fund you will enable us to continue caring for these neglected, wounded, and abused pets.
Heartworms, Whipworms, and Hookworms. Jasmine is our most recent Skipper Fund beneficiary. When Jasmine was brought to the GBHS earlier this year, she had three puppies who were already 10 weeks old. She was then diagnosed with heartworm disease, whipworms, and hookworms. Due to the expense of treating heartworms, we are often unable to save the lives of dogs that are heartworm positive. However, Jasmine's sweet nature and mild manners pulled the heartstrings of GBHS staff.
Despite the odds, Jasmine was successfully spayed and is now being treated for heartworms and other parasites through the GBHS Skipper Fund. In an effort to give her the best possible chance at success, she is in foster care until treatment is complete.
We realize that only one person will be able to adopt Jasmine when she is available; however, with your gift today you can help us save the lives of other deserving pets like Jasmine and her puppies. If you would be interested in possibly adopting Jasmine once her treatment is complete, contact us and we will let you know when she is available for adoption. We are excited to report that all three of Jasmine's pups have already been adopted!
Your gift this Valentine's Day will allow us to continue serving pets like Scooter, Julius, Hurricane, and Jasmine. Share the love today and help us save lives throughout the year.
Matted, Emaciated, and "Blind". Every day the Greater Birmingham Humane Society receives pets who can no longer be cared for properly or are simply unwanted. Some days, like February 21, 2010 we receive pets who really NEED us, who have lived a life of neglect for too long and who are no longer wanted by their owners.
On Sunday, February 21, 2010, we received a dog that was nothing more than a black tangle of mats. This dog was so matted that his little black nose was the ONLY thing to help us tell his head from his tail. Our caring staff immediately responded to his pathetic state by drastically grooming him in order to find what was below all the hair. The process was tedious, the end result was amazingly horrifying even for seasoned GBHS staff who have seen cruelty at its worst. We removed ONE FOURTH his body weight in matted hair, leaving behind only a 4 pound skeleton. In our search for his eyes, we not only removed a mass of mats, but we also had to remove a buildup of mucus that had collected over his eyes. He has been living “blind” for quite some time prior to being surrendered to the GBHS. Our caring staff literally brought light back to this dog.
Watch Apollo's Unveiling - A Walking Skeleton
Apollo, as we have named him for his stamina, drive, and perseverance, is now being fostered by one of his groomers and is showing us what it means to be a survivor. Despite being emaciated and having been neglected for so long, this tiny guy has a will to live and lots of love to share. Once his belly is full and his bones are properly covered with muscle, we will neuter him and he will begin his search for a forever family a family that will love him and care for him as he deserves.
While we do not receive animals like Apollo everyday, we are often the last hope for far too many dogs like him. Some are so far gone with other health or behavior problems that all we can offer is an end to the suffering through humane euthanasia. However, when we see hope in their eyes and a love for life, we are committed to doing our utmost to ensure they will get their second chance at life.
Apollo - One Month Later
After one month in foster care, Apollo has gained just over 3 pounds! While his story is far from over, Apollo has shown us that a drive to live and a love for life will truly help you overcome. This little guy now enjoys playing, running, bouncing, and simply living! His success has been made possible due to his caring foster mom, and extended foster family among GBHS staff. While these individuals have made a direct impact on Apollo's life, your support of the GBHS Skipper Fund is what enables us to go the extra mile for special pets like Apollo.