205-942-1211 | 300 Snow Drive Birmingham, AL 35209

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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Where is Animal Care and Control located?

The Woodlawn location of Animal Care and Control is located at 6227 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212. However, the public and animal control officers may use the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s Snow Drive facility for certain services (please see the procedures below). The Snow Drive facility is located at 300 Snow Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209.

Please call 205-591-6522 to report stray dogs and cats, injured dogs and cats, or for assistance with animal complaints.

Our fax number is 205-595-5014.

What are the hours of operation for Animal Care and Control services?

Animal Care and Control (ACC) is open to the public:

  • Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00pm
  • Saturday from 8:00am until Noon.
  • We are closed on Sundays, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.

Animal Care and Control provides emergency response and on-call officers:

  • 12:00 Noon on Saturdays through 8:00 a.m. Monday
  • 5:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Animal Care and Control takes phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our phone number is 205-591-6522.

After hours calls are answered by a professional answering service who will forward your message to an on-call officer. The Animal Control Officer on-call will return all calls within 10 minutes.

For a complete list of hours for both locations, see our Hours and Locations page.

What services does Animal Care and Control provide?

We regulate uncontrolled domestic animals, assist with bites and attacks by aggressive animals (depending on the jurisdiction), investigate reports of possible animal cruelty and neglect, pick up stray animals, pick up confined strays, pick up loose animals without proper rabies identification, rescue injured animals, keep records of lost/found cats and dogs, give animal information and referrals, and promote responsible pet ownership through education.

How do I file a complaint?

We regulate uncontrolled domestic animals, assist with bites and attacks by aggressive animals (depending on the jurisdiction), investigate reports of possible animal cruelty and neglect, pick up stray animals, pick up confined strays, pick up loose animals without proper rabies identification, rescue injured animals, keep records of lost/found cats and dogs, give animal information and referrals, and promote responsible pet ownership through education.

If I call for service, how long will it take for Animal Care and Control to respond?

If it is in a jurisdiction that our officers cover, in most cases, an animal control officer will arrive within 45 minutes of your call. If you are calling after hours, an animal control officer will respond to you via phone within 10 minutes of your call and arrive within 45 minutes.

We do not control response times if your issue falls under the authority of your local animal control officer or law enforcement agency. If that is the case, we will still try to help you get your problem resolved as quickly as possible.

What is the relationship between Animal Care and Control and the Greater Birmingham Humane Society?

Animal Care and Control is a division of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. The legal entity is Greater Birmingham Humane Society Animal Care and Control, LLC. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

Is Animal Care and Control a non-profit?

As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Animal Care and Control, LLC is a non-profit.

Is a donation to Animal Care and Control tax deductible?

Yes. Donations to Animal Care and Control are tax deductible. You may also make a donation to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society and designate your gift to be used solely for Animal Care and Control.

If Animal Care and Control is a nonprofit, why are you charging the county for your services?

Many nonprofits charge fees for service along with funds they receive from private foundations and government grants and contracts. Some examples include Children’s Hospital, Girl Scouts, Shelby County Humane Society, nonprofit counseling agencies, and many United Way agencies.

When the county opened the bid for animal care and control services, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society bid and was awarded the contract. Our rates represent an approximate savings of 60% to taxpayers. This was made possible through the generosity of donors.

The former vendor was a for-profit entity.

How much is GBHS charging Jefferson County and cities for these services?

The rate sheet that won the award can be found here. It represents an almost 60% reduction in previous charges. These rates are what we will charge each city and the county for the services listed.

You can download the Jefferson County Intent to Bid here.
View the bid we submit here.

What standard medical services will animals receive at Animal Care and Control?

Adult dogs held at Animal Care and Control will all receive a Bordetella intranasal vaccine on intake. Puppies will receive Bordetella and DA2PP vaccines on intake. All additional testing (intestinal parasite exam / heartworm testing), preventative medical treatment (additional vaccinations, including rabies, heartworm prevention application / deworming medications) and surgical altering will occur after their 7 day hold if they are deemed healthy/adoptable or transferable (ie…rescue groups, Rescue Wagon or other transports).

All surgical treatment and/or advanced medical care of the adoptable / transferable pets will occur at Alabama Shelter Veterinarians located at 5220 Princeton Way, Hoover, Alabama 35226. Puppies will receive an additional 7 day quarantine hold to screen for parvoviral enteritis prior to being surgically altered and moved to the adoption facility. All dogs/puppies that are surgically altered will receive a identification microchip implanted subcutaneously.

Adult cats and kittens will all receive FVRCP vaccines on intake. After the 7 day hold, cats and kittens deemed adoptable will be tested for FeLV / FIV, intestinal parasites and begin additional preventative medical treatment (additional vaccines, including rabies, deworming medications and topical heartworm/flea prevention). They will also be surgically altered. All further testing, preventative care and surgical altering will be performed at ASV. All cats/kittens that are surgically altered will receive an identification microchip implanted subcutaneously.

What equipment does Alabama Shelter Veterinarians have at their site to serve animals at Animal Care and Control?

We are excited about the fact that all animals under the care of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society have access to the following diagnostic equipment:

We have a wide array of in-house diagnostic equipment that allows a problem-based, scientific approach to most medical and surgical issues faced in a shelter veterinary medical environment. In-house blood analyzers allow for complete blood counts with a 5 part differential, a comprehensive serum chemistry machine (complete serum chemistries with electrolytes, thyroid and cholesterol testing)and the ability to check coagulation profiles. ASV is blessed to offer digital radiography with the ability to email or hard copy to CD radiology studies for referral to specialists, referring veterinarians or rescue organizations requiring further information.

Our diagnostic imaging capabilities also includes color flow Doppler ultrasonography with thoracic/cardiology and abdominal functions.Additional diagnostic capabilities include digital tonometry, ophthalmoscopic and otoscopic examinations, antigen testing for heartworm disease, feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus and parvoviral enteritis. Complete urinalysis as well as microscopic examinations for fine needle aspirates/impression smears/urine sediment/skin scraping and other cytology are commonly performed in our fully functional laboratory.

Animal Care and Control Coverage Areas

If I call regarding a problem with an animal, who will respond?

It will vary depending on where you live and the nature of your call. Our dispatch service will work with you to determine your jurisdiction and the appropriate response. Your complaint may fall under the jurisdiction of law enforcement or your local animal control officer. We will work with every caller to ensure the correct response to help you resolve your problem.

Why can’t the Greater Birmingham Humane Society Animal Care and Control Service respond with an animal control officer to all calls in Jefferson County?

The Greater Birmingham Humane Society was awarded a contract by Jefferson County to provide Animal Control and Impoundment Services for unincorporated Jefferson County and municipalities with a population of 5,000 or less.

Municipalities with populations of more than 5,000 may employ their own animal control officers depending on the city. For those cities we provide impoundment services only.

For unincorporated Jefferson County and municipalities with a population of 5,000 or less, Animal Control Officers are on routine patrol during our public hours. Animal Control officers are on-call for or emergency response from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. Saturday through 8:00 a.m. Monday.

For which cities and areas do you currently provide animal control officers?

We provide animal control services for the following cities with populations of under 5,000:

  • All of unincorporated Jefferson County
  • Adamsville
  • Argo
  • Brighton
  • Brookside
  • Cardiff
  • County Line
  • Graysville
  • Kimberly
  • Lakeview
  • Lipscomb
  • Maytown
  • Morris
  • Mulga
  • North Johns
  • Sumiton
  • Sylvan Springs
  • Trafford
  • Warrior
  • West Jefferson

We provide animal control services for the following cities with populations over 5,000:

  • Centerpoint
  • Fairfield
  • Fultondale
  • Gardendale
  • Graysville
  • Irondale
  • Leeds
  • Midfield
  • Pinson
  • Tarrant

Which cities have their own animal control officers?

  • Hoover
  • Hueytown
  • Bessemer
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Trussville
  • Mountain Brook
  • Vestavia Hills
  • Homewood
  • Birmingham

Which cities are not covered for animal control (field services) under your agreement with the county?

We are working with the mayors of the following cities to ensure animal control services (field services), but currently we do not have agreements to provide services to these cities.

  • Clay
  • Helena (portions of which are in Jefferson County)

While we desire to resolve the public’s concerns in these cities, we have no authority to pick up animals without a signed agreement. We will update this site as soon as an agreement is reached or we are notified of the service provider.

Lost and Missing Pets

I lost my pet, how do I know if it is at Animal Care and Control?

CALL
You may call 205-591-6522.
We will try to determine if an animal fitting the description was picked up and impounded. Please be mindful that it is very difficult to identify mixed breed animals due to discrepancies and variations in descriptions. The best way to ensure the safe return of your lost animal is to ensure that your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags, a rabies tag, and has been micro-chipped. If the animal is wearing tags, the owner will be notified within 24 hours.

COME TO THE OFFICES
At 6227 5th Avenue North during public business hours. If it is after 7 days, we will also call our Snow Drive facility to see if your pet has been transferred there for adoption.

GO TO OUR WEBSITE
You may go to www.gbhs.org to see photographs of impounded animals. We do not post photographs of animals that are being held under the authority of local law enforcement.

We will post photographs of all animals not involved in cruelty investigations and cruelty charges within 24-hours of impoundment.

Please remember, animals will sometimes lose their tags or have them removed by someone. Even if your animal leaves home wearing a collar and tags, there is always a chance the collar may not be on when the animal is picked up. Stray, rescued and loose animals that are picked up are held for seven days. Animals involved in a bite must be quarantined for 10 days.

What does it cost to get my pet out of impoundment?

Jefferson County requires us to charge citizens to reclaim their pets. Jefferson County sets the fee schedule for reclaiming your animal. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society nor Animal Care and Control does not keep any of the fees charged for reclaiming. We are required to forward all reclaim fees to Jefferson County. We accept cash, credit or debit cards as a payment method.

Please see the Jefferson County fee schedule.

What do I need to bring with me to reclaim my pet?

We must ensure that we do everything we can to release pets to their rightful owners. This is especially important since some dealers in animals look for animals to sell for purposes that our organization fights against.

In order to reclaim a pet that has been impounded you must have the following with you:

  • Required reclaim fee (Cash, Credit Card or Debit Card; no checks accepted.)
  • A legal form of identification
  • Proof of ownership (any one of the following):
    • Vet records
    • Picture of you and your pet
    • Signed statement from a neighbor or relative
  • Collar and leash or carrier. No animal will be allowed to leave our facility without being leashed or confined to a carrier.
  • Evidence of rabies vaccination.

What if I can’t afford the fee?

All fines must be paid in order to reclaim your pet.

When can I pick up my pet from Animal Care and Control?

Pets that have proof of rabies vaccination can be picked up any time during normal business hours. If you cannot provide proof of rabies vaccination, your pet can only be picked up after 1:00pm on Monday – Friday because it will have to be vaccinated before it can leave our facility. The vaccination will be included in your reclaim fee.

Animal Care and Control has my pet but hasn’t taken it to impoundment yet. Can I reclaim on the spot?

If you have proof of ownership and proof that the animal has a current rabies vaccination you may reclaim without being charged any fees. If you cannot produce proof of rabies vaccination, your pet will be impounded.

Animal Cruelty and Neglect Complaints

What services does Animal Care and Control provide?

We regulate uncontrolled domestic animals, assist with bites and attacks by aggressive animals (depending on the jurisdiction), investigate reports of possible animal cruelty and neglect, pick up stray animals, pick up confined strays, pick up loose animals without proper rabies identification, rescue injured animals, keep records of lost/found cats and dogs, give animal information and referrals, and promote responsible pet ownership through education.

When do I call the police to report animal abuse?

If you suspect an animal is being abused, call your local police department if you are willing to file a report. If you do not want to file a report, you can submit an anonymous report by calling us at 205-591-6522.

How do I file a complaint?

To have an Animal Control Officer respond to a complaint, call the office at 205-591-6522. Depending on your jurisdiction, a dispatcher will either send an Animal Control Officer or refer you to your local animal control officer or law enforcement agency to investigate your complaint. If the officer sees a violation when he/she arrives, appropriate action will be taken.

What constitutes “cruelty or neglect to an animal?”

  • Pet owners must provide proper food, water, and adequate shelter for animals at all times.
  • The animal must be fed at least once every twenty-four (24) hours and have clean, fresh, drinkable water available at all times.
  • Shelter must be a structure that is adequate to provide protection from the weather and keeps the animal dry and well maintained.
  • The size of the shelter must be in proportion to the size of the animal.
  • Inflicting inhumane pain or suffering or failing to provide veterinary care also constitutes cruelty.

Violations should be reported by calling Animal Care and Control at 205-591-6522.

What do I do if I suspect organized animal fighting is going on in my community?

Report suspected organized animal fighting to your local law enforcement agency.

Do I have to sign anything if I call in a cruelty or neglect complaint?

If you call the complaint in to Animal Care and Control you do not have to provide your name.
If it is not a complaint that we are authorized to investigate you must contact your local law enforcement agency and will most likely be asked to file a police report that you may have to sign.

Animal Care and Control Staffing

How many veterinarians provide medical care for the animals at Animal Care and Control?

We contract with Alabama Shelter Veterinarians to provide 2 full-time veterinarians and 1 Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) for Animal Care and Control.

How many animal control officers and impoundment staff does Animal Care and Control employ?

Animal Care and Control staffing is as follows:

Animal Control Officers: 5 full-time and 1 part-time.
Our animal control officers rotate on-call shifts so that we can provide 24-hour service.

Impoundment Services and Animal Care: 5 full-time and 3 part-time

Dispatch: 2 full-time

A full-time Director of Field Services
A full-time Director of Impoundment

Stray Animals

What do I do if I find a stray?

If you find a stray during normal business hours, you can call 205-591-6522 and a dispatcher will respond to your call. If you find a stray and want to bring it to our facility, we ask that you come to Animal Care and Control at 6227 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212.

Our Homewood location accepts owner-surrendered pets.  We highly encourage strays to be brought to Animal Care & Control at 6227 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212.

I found a stray but cannot bring it to you, can you meet me to pick up the stray animal?

If you are in a location that our animal control officers cover we can meet you to pick up the stray from you. (Click here to see areas we cover.)

A stray animal is an animal that you find loose and/or that you have been caring for 29 days or less.

If I find an injured stray animal, will you provide medical treatment for the injured animal?

If you are in an area in Jefferson County in which our officers do not cover you may bring that animal to our Woodlawn or Snow Drive location for medical treatment and care.

I live in unincorporated Jefferson County where there are no leash laws. If my animal is found running loose will it be picked up?

If your animal is uncontained and does not have a current rabies vaccination tag, it can be picked up by Animal Care and Control and impounded.

Can I trap stray cats or dogs that come into my yard?

Yes, as long as you use a humane trap that does not injure the animal. Depending on the jurisdiction, our officers will pickup any cat or dog caught in the trap upon notification. You must be home when the officer arrives.

Due to the threat of injury to our personnel, there are some situations involving animals that cannot be handled by the Animal Care and Control. Some services we cannot provide are climbing into attics, climbing trees, and disassembling any structures to get or remove animals. There are a few private companies in the area that provide these services, and one or more of these companies should be contacted in these situations. Costs for these services are at the home or property owner’s expense.

Do I have to sign anything if I bring a stray to you or ask you to pick up a stray in your coverage area?

Yes. You will be asked to sign a stray surrender form. You will be asked to provide identification when you sign the form.

Owner Surrenders

Do you take owner surrenders?

You may surrender a pet you own at our Woodlawn or Snow Drive facility but we prefer that owner surrenders be made at our facility on Snow Drive.

If you bring your animal to us, at either location and you live in Jefferson County you must pay a $15 fee to surrender an animal.

If we come to you to pick up your owned animal inside Jefferson County, the surrender fee is $25.

A mother and litter surrender in our location is $45 (litters under 12 weeks).
A mother and litter surrender that we pick up from you in Jefferson County is $55 (litter under 12 weeks).

Owner surrenders from outside of Jefferson County are welcomed to bring their pets to either location, out-of-county surrender fee is $30 per pet or $60 for a mother and litter (12 weeks and under).

Questions Related to Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officials in need of Animal Care and Control....

Law enforcement officials in need of Animal Care and Control services should contact us at 205-591-6522 during normal business hours and dispatch will respond to the call.

After hours, if there is no Animal Control Officer employed by your municipality, Animal Care and Control will respond to your call. ACC will pick up the animal if requested. Alternatively, law enforcement can bring the animal to ACC – either to the facility at 5th Avenue North or to the Snow Drive facility.

Adopting a Pet

Where can I adopt a pet?

Pets can only be adopted from our Snow Drive location at 300 Snow Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209.

Can I adopt a pet from Animal Control?

Yes, but adoptions will be handled at the Snow Drive location.

All stray animals must be held for seven days before being available for adoption. At the end of the holding period, adoptable animals are transferred to our Snow Drive location. You must come in to adopt and all applications will be reviewed by an adoptions counselor.

Animal Bites

I’ve been bitten by an animal – what should I do?

All animal bites should be reported. This is a matter of public health and enforcement of these regulations is the responsibility of Animal Care and Control. Any animal that bites someone must be placed in quarantine for a 10-day period. If you or any family member are bitten, call your local law enforcement agency immediately. A police officer will respond to take a report. If medical treatment is required, the doctor or hospital providing the treatment should report the incident. Every attempt should be made to identify the animal so the owner can be contacted and the necessary paperwork completed. If a wild animal is involved and cannot be located, you will be advised on what treatment is necessary.

My animal bit someone – what do I do?

The bite should be reported by calling Animal Care and Control at 205-591-6522 or your local law enforcement agency.

The animal must be placed in quarantine for a period of 10 days. This quarantine is required even if the animal has been vaccinated for rabies. You may be able to keep the animal at your home under certain circumstances and if the animal’s rabies vaccination is current.

If you don’t have a current rabies vaccination, under certain circumstances you can either board the animal at a veterinarian’s office or have it quarantined at Animal Care and Control.

Boarding fees at veterinarians vary and are the responsibility of the animal owner. The fee for boarding an animal at Animal Care and Control is also the responsibility of the animal owner. After the bite report is completed, our veterinarian will follow up on the observation and release of the animal from quarantine at the end of the quarantine period.

Rescue Groups

Does Animal Care and Control partner with rescue groups?

Yes. We require rescue groups to share in our mission of humane treatment to people and animals, and they must pass an application process to be approved as Rescue Partners. (Click here to download the application to become a Rescue Partner.)

What is the fee for a rescue group to receive adoptable animals from Animal Care and Control?

We will never charge a fee to approved rescue groups for partnering with us or for the transfer of animals. Donations to offset costs are always welcomed.

What are the benefits of becoming a Rescue Partner?

Once approved as a rescue partner of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s Animal Care and Control division rescue groups benefit from the following services:

  • Adoptable pets that have not been transferred to Snow Drive for adoption may be transferred to any approvedRescue Partners at no charge to the rescue partner.
  • All pets transferred toRescue Partners will have been spay or neutered.
  • Rescue partners may bring a stray animal into Animal Care and Control under the name of the rescue. The animal will be treated and held and after seven days be evaluated for health and temperament. If it is determined that the animal is safe for the public, then the animal will be transferred back to the Rescue Partner that brought the animal into Animal Care and Control at the request of the rescue.
  • Discounted veterinary care for Rescue Partners is offered through our Rescue-Able Program. Treatments are offered at the cost to GBHS:
    • Heartworm treatment (Immiticide):
      • Work up and treatment includes: 3 View Thoracic Radiographs, CBC, and comprehensive chemistry profile, three immiticide injections, pre-medication pain/anti-inflammatory medications, and follow-up heartworm testing after treatment.
      • Pricing:
        • Canine 0-25 lbs. $168
        • Canine 26-50 lbs. $240
        • Canine  51-75 lbs $390
        • Canine 76-100 lbs $475
        • Canine over 100 lbs $600

The partnership between the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Alabama Shelter Veterinarians and Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine

Background

In the summer of 2014, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society learned that it was no longer able to obtain a premise permit for a veterinarian to perform surgeries on site. GBHS had previously been issued a premise permit; however, the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medicine changed its opinion on the issuance of the permit to an organization during the summer of 2014.

The board also explained that GBHS could not employ a veterinarian and that veterinarians could only work for other veterinarians except under special circumstances as outlined in the state veterinary practice act.

How did this impact GBHS?

GBHS’ policy requires that all animals be spayed or neutered before they can be released for adoption. As a result, GBHS was incurring between $35,000 to $45,000 in additional medical expenses each month for the care and alteration of our animals. Something had to be done to keep our doors open and our costs under control.

While many veterinarians stepped up to help (including Alabama Spay Neuter) they could not match GBHS’ in-house cost to spay and neuter animals which averaged between $9 and $22 per surgery depending on whether it is a cat or dog and the animal’s weight. Our organization was facing soaring costs and the reality that GBHS cold no longer “employ” the veterinarian we had just hired.

The Medical Model

GBHS’ leadership along with Dr. Cash had the idea to create a physical vet clinic that could then be leased to a for-profit veterinarian and vet practice.

Our leadership also saw an opportunity to help enhance and promote the shelter medicine program at Auburn University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. What if we could find a veterinarian to lease the building and lead a shelter medicine externship program with Auburn?

The GBHS board and staff felt this model might also be able to help seriously injured owner surrendered and stray animals by offering state-of-the art medical services that GBHS simply could not afford to purchase from private veterinarians – – these animals are often euthanized due to the high cost of treating them.

An anonymous donor stepped in and purchased the former MET VET building in Hoover, Alabama which had been closed for more than two years. Additionally, donors purchased state-of-the art diagnostic equipment and furniture for the building. GBHS’ veterinarian resigned from our staff and started Alabama Shelter Veterinarians, P.C. (ASV) which is owned by Brandon “B.J.” Cash, D.V.M. The clinic is located at 5220 Princeton Way, Hoover, Alabama 35226. Dr. Cash hired Vaughn Walker, D.V.M. in January 2015. The clinic is fully staffed and provides medical services to all of GBHS’ animals including those at Animal Care and Control.

Dean Calvin Johnson of Auburn University’s School of Veterinary Medicine agreed to provide veterinary students for 2-week rotating externships starting in Spring of 2015. These students will be provided with housing, surgical experience, and the opportunity to learn about shelter medicine through their work with our Snow Drive and Woodlawn locations.

Who supervises the Auburn vet students?

The shelter medicine program is supervised by Brandon “B.J.” Cash, D.V.M.

What is ASV’s role?

ASV provides veterinarians that supervise the shelter medicine program. Dr. Cash also contracts as the Chief Medical Officer for GBHS.

Do students “experiment” or conduct research on animals at ASV?

No. The shelter medicine program provides medical treatment and services to save and protect animals. The shelter medicine program does not perform research on animals. GBHS does not provide animals that are deemed unadoptable for “practice surgeries” or “terminal surgeries.” GBHS nor ASV sells animals to universities or research facilities.

What is GBHS’ role?

GBHS provides access to the animals at our CARE Center located at Snow Drive as well as animals at Animal Care and Control located in Woodlawn. We also raise money to help offset the costs of our contract with ASV. GBHS tracks all animals as part of important data gathering that will be used to study over population of animals located in our service area.

This partnership is an innovative, new medical model that has been commended by humane societies and cities throughout the United States. If you would like a tour of ASV, please contact Mary Grace Wilson at 205-397-8544 or email her at mawilson@gbhs.org.

Can I take my pet to Alabama Shelter Veterinarians?

ASV only accepts contracts from nonprofit animal shelters and GBHS approved rescue groups.

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